Allocation will allow approx 2,000kms of road to be maintained and strengthened
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, today (Tuesday) announced details of the €294 million investment programme for 2015 for regional and local roads, saying the package will allow approximately 2,000 kms of regional and local road to be maintained and strengthened this year.
“Ensuring the upkeep and maintenance of our road network is essential in facilitating our future economic growth and development and securing job creation. If people are prevented from going about their daily business or from getting to and from work in a timely fashion our economic activity will suffer. This allocation of €294 million will allow restoration and improvement works to be carried out and a number of new construction projects to be carried out.
“The priority is to maintain the existing road network, and I have been able to protect funding for the key road maintenance and strengthening programmes for the local authorities, which continue to receive funding. The investment programme also allows for a number of key improvement projects to go ahead, namely:
Lough Atalia Railway Bridge, which involves increasing vehicle headroom under a railway bridge on an important access route to Galway city and also Galway Port.
The rehabilitation of Clontarf Bridge, which is on a vital route in Cork City.
The strategic Coonagh to Knockalisheen project, which will support the regeneration of the Moyross area in Limerick to proceed to construction.
“There is also provision for 175 bridge rehabilitation schemes and 211 low cost safety projects to be carried out. The main focus of the low cost safety scheme is to improve safety at locations where collisions have taken place. Significant provision is also being made for footpaths in 2015 in the interest of public safety.
“The main features of the investment programme include:
€145m for maintenance, improvement and strengthening works
€41m for surface dressing
€62.5m for maintenance and strengthening works for which local authorities have discretion in the selection of roads
€17m for Specific and Strategic Regional and Local Roads Projects
€7.7m for bridge rehabilitation works
€5.8m for Low Cost Safety Improvement Works
€4.2m for urban block grant
€11m of miscellaneous grants including, bridge inspections, training, maproad and road safety measures.
“Arising from the introduction of the local property tax, the four Dublin local authorities will be in a position to self-fund for regional and local roads in 2015 and the funding allocation for county Cork can be reduced. The reduction in the budget for 2015 reflects self-funding by these Councils and a €50 million one-off boost from financial stimulus at the start of 2014. When these factors are taken into account, allocations to local authorities this year are up on the 2014 base figures.
“Local authorities are best placed to assess priorities within their areas and considerable autonomy is therefore given to them under grant headings to decide on the work programme to be carried out in their area. It is also important to note that that these grants supplement local authorities’ own resource expenditure on the regional and local road network and so do not represent the total investment in regional and local roads for this year.”