Major realignment work is beginning on a dangerous part of the N59, main Sligo to Ballina road. The reconstruction of the road between Farranyharpy and Ballygreighan near Skreen is estimated to cost €4.8 million and involves the upgrading of 3km of the road to provide a new carriageway of 8 metres (over 26 feet) wide. The realignment of this section of road was identified as the top priority for improvement works in 2005 and the work will involve removing several dangerous bends.
The work is expected to take a year and will involve traffic hold=ups. Sligo County Council say that major traffic management will be required as the contract will involve extensive earthworks operations and the upgrading of eight priority junctions and associated utilities diversions.
An existing stone arch bridge will be widened on the eastern end of the scheme with the installation of four new culverts and four reinforced concrete retaining walls.
The council also say that the lands for the development have been cleared of all archaeological potential following trench testing.
“Mitigation measures will be implemented to protect bats and otters and environmental measures will also be required to protect fish during the construction of the various elements of the scheme”, a spokesperson said.
The work will be carried out by Priority Construction Limited, who are nationally known contractors.
The contract was signed recently at County Hall. The signing was attended by elected representatives from the area, Councillors Mary Barrett, Michael Clarke, Dara Mulvey and Joe Queenan, County Manager Hubert Kearns, Director of Services Tom Kilfeather, Senior Engineer Tom Brennan and members of engineering staff, and Directors of contractors Priority Construction Ltd.
The Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Councillor Michael Fleming said the signing of the contract for the re-alignment
of the N59 was a “a tribute to the local councillors and Council management and staff for their efforts over many years”.
He said the project “representsa major enhancement of the national road network in West Sligo and will be greatly welcomed by the local community and the many visitors to the area”.
The County Council first obtained funding from the National Roads Authority to proceed with the scheme in 2007.
The council published the Compulsory Purchase Order for the scheme in March 2011 with An Bord Pleanala approving the order in August 2011.
They took possession of the lands in March this year.