Roads authority urged to come clean on bypass project

The National Roads Authority has been asked to come clean on a proposed roads project that may be at a dead-end.

A long-delayed bypass in Killarney, Co Kerry, costed at tens of millions of euro, had been due for completion in 2009.

But work has not yet started and, according to the county council, may not start for “many years” because of roads’ budget cutbacks.

No allocation, it emerged, has been provided this year for the 26km bypass and it is “uncertain” when money will be available, according to Ger MacNamara, senior roads engineer with Kerry County Council.

Estimated some years ago to cost €130 million, the bypass is to run from Lissivigeen, on the Cork side of Killarney, cross country to Farranfore. It is envisaged as a key element of major improvements to the N22 road between Cork and Tralee.

Concerns have been raised about people being prevented from building houses, or undertaking other developments, because of planning curbs along the route of the bypass.

The planned route passes largely through farmland and there is also the time-consuming issue of getting land for the road, with a spate of compulsory acquisition orders likely to be necessary.

Killarney councillor Michael Gleeson said it was time people were given absolute clarity in relation to the bypass and when work was likely to commence.

“The year 2009 was categorically guaranteed as the completion date of the road, but nothing has been done. People are being inconvenienced in regard to planning and there’s overall concern about what will happen in the future,” he said.

Mr MacNamara said, with severe cutbacks, it was unlikely funding would be available for the scheme in the foreseeable future.

Meanwhile, €9.5 million has been received for realignment work on the Tralee to Dingle-Daingean Ui Chuis and the Tralee to Listowel roads.

Work on the Tralee to Dingle-Daingean Ui Chuis road is one of three national pilot projects under a National Roads Authority (NRA) for “low volume tourist routes”.

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