Kerry mayor leads county’s roadworks drive

A HIGH-LEVEL deputation from Kerry will meet the National Roads Authority (NRA) in Dublin today, amid concerns about delays in carrying out major roadworks in the county, at an estimated cost of at least €180 million.

Led by Kerry mayor Ted Fitzgerald and county manager Martin Riordan, the deputation will stress the urgency of carrying out national primary road projects, such as the proposed new Farranfore/Killarney road, the Tralee ring road and the Castleisland bypass.

The deputation will also seek more funding for Kerry’s 337km national secondary road network, with proposals submitted for the Listowel bypass, Barraduff bridge and the Mountain Stage/Glenbeigh road.

County engineer Tom Curran has warned that national primary roadworks in Kerry could be long-fingered if there’s a shift in roads investment to Dublin and inter-urban routes.

Mr Fitzgerald, FF, yesterday said he was very concerned about delays, especially regarding the ring road for traffic-choked Tralee. “These delays are unacceptable. The line of the route for the Tralee ring road was decided two years ago,” he said.

The €60m Tralee ring road will link the southern and north eastern outskirts of the town, diverting traffic from the Killarney, Killorglin and Listowel sides away from the town.

The 26km Farranfore/Killarney road has been estimated to cost €90m. Preliminary design work is proceeding, as well as possible environmental impacts.

The route of this N22 road, which will link up with the Cork/Killarney road, will involve a large amount of land acquisition.

Applications for planning permissions along the route are being delayed, pending a final decision.

Work on the €29m Castleisland bypass had been expected to start towards the end of this year. Oireachtas members from Kerry will also be on the deputation.

Meanwhile, the €3.5m western link road in Tralee was opened to traffic yesterday. The 2.1km road will link the Ardfert and Abbeydorney roads, on the northern side of the town, and should help relieve traffic at a number of schools.

Roundabouts have been provided at both ends of the roads and Kerry County Council said the link would also allow motorists avoid the centre of Tralee.

The link road is the first phase of a planned Tralee ring road system. The next phase is to link up the Abbeydorney road to the N69 Tralee-Listowel road.

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