ATHY long awaited relief road has moved a step closer to being a reality with the allocation of €3 million in Government funding.
The funding for the Southern Distributor Route has been assigned by the Department of Transport as part of a €483m investment programme for local and regional roads across the country in 2019.
“Kildare Co Council now has the funding they need to drive the Athy Southern Distributor Route forward and to ensure it is completed for the town of Athy, its residents and businesses,” said Deputy Martin Heydon who welcomed the news.
The relief road has been on the agenda for some four decades now but is likely to be finally be completed by early 2022. The first phase of advanced works on the project began in recent weeks, involving site clearance, fencing, landscaping and planting, and the installation of a new precast box culvert and both temporary and permanent boundary walls.
Contractor Clonmel Enterprises Ltd was appointed to the project, with this phase expected to take around six months to complete.
Athy Municipal District Cathaoirleach Aoife Breslin is among those welcoming the government funding, explaining that it puts to bed any remaining doubts as to whether the ring road will go ahead.
“The road is very much at an advanced stage. We have started advanced works on the Kilkenny Road already in relation to it,” she said. “In my mind it’s 40 years too late but finally this road is going to be here.”
Cllr Breslin also noted that it’s good news for the town in conjunction with other investment in recent months. “We need to keep the foot on the pedal and ensure that Athy receives the necessary investment to go forward,” she added.
Once completed the route – which falls under the Project Ireland 2040 banner – will undoubtedly have a major impact across the board in Athy, which has long suffered from congestion issues.
“I have always believed that this road will have a really positive impact on the town of Athy, and I am pleased to have played my part in its progression to date,” Deputy Heydon stated. “I look forward to the town of Athy having a relief road that it deserves.”