THE Athy Southern Distributor Road will open to traffic early in 2022.
A detailed timeline was given to Athy Municipal District councillors at a meeting last Tuesday.
Ongoing consultations with local landowners and those affected by the work is to begin this week and land acquisitions will start next month, as will work on soil sampling for the presence of asbestos on the road site.
Work on the stream at Corran Ard will be undertaken in June and July of this year through advance contracts. Other advance contracts such as the erection of a protective barrier along the route will be done between this July and February 2019. Archaeological testing will commence this summer.
Detailed design works will carry on throughout 2018 and tender submissions will be evaluated in the first quarter of 2019 with final tenders to be awarded in the third quarter of 2019. It is envisaged that the main contract to construct the road will commence in the first quarter of 2020 and the plan is to open the road during the first three months in 2022.
At last week’s meeting councillors were once again informed that there is no problem regarding funding for the project, a fact that was underlined by the inclusion of the Athy Southern Distributor Road in the Project Ireland 2040 National Development Plan, which was launched last Friday.
The road will have a 60km speed limit and new bridges will have to be built over the River Barrow and the railway line.
Councillors were further told that the road will have a special noise reduction surface similar to what you see and hear at Newlands Cross in Dublin along its full length.
The firm timeline for the road was welcomed by all councillors at their regular monthly meeting on Monday.
The road has been spoken about for almost 40 years and the project took a significant step forward last October when An Bord Pleanala granted planning permission for the road. A deadline for judicial reviews of that decision passed last month.