Oylegate bypass moves a step closer
Plans to develop a direct road link between Oylegate and Rosslare Harbour have moved a step closer with the announcement that technical advisors have been appointed to carry out a feasibility study on the proposed project.
Funding of €800,000 has been allocated to this phase of the scheme which will also include [route] option selection, design, economic appraisal and planning.
The contracts between the local authority and Mott McDonald Ireland Ltd were signed in the County Hall on Thursday.
The scheme will incorporate a 33km transport corridor linking Oylegate with the port.
Significantly, the new roadway will also improve direct links between Rosslare Harbour and Dublin, via the N11, and Waterford and Cork, via the N25.
Along with the soon-to-be-opened Enniscorthy bypass it will also form a major part of the European designated E01 route from Larne to Rosslare Europort.
Commenting on the project CEO of Wexford County Council, Tom Enright, said it will be a strategically important piece of infrastructure in the wake of Brexit.
Once the M11 Gorey to Enniscorthy motorway scheme is opened in the coming months the Oylegate to Rosslare corridor will be the only section of the 375km route from Larne to the Europort that isn't a dual carriageway or motorway.
Mr Enright said the appointment of the contractors was 'a major milestone in the delivery of a very important project for Co Wexford'.
At the signing he outlined the nature of the intended work over the coming months and said it's proposed that various studies will be undertaken and that an initial public consultation and information initiative will take place towards the end of this year.
Further consultation processes are also expected to take place next year.
'The council is conscious that local residents and communities would like greater certainty with regard to the final defined route of the road and time-lines for planning and construction,' said Mr Enright.
It's anticipated that the final route selection will be identified in 2020 and then a defined route will be developed, incorporating design and environmental assessment, throughout 2021.
It's also anticipated that the following year the scheme will be submitted to An Bord Pleanála for planning approval - including compulsory purchase orders and environmental impact assessment.
'The scheme is still at an early stage of development,' said Mr Enright.
'It is not therefore possible at this time to indicate a likely time-frame for construction of the project which will be dependent upon the outcome of the statutory planning approval processes and the securing of the necessary funding,' he added.
'However this contract signing is a significant step forward in the delivery of this vital infrastructural project.'
The Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council, Cllr Keith Doyle, also welcomed the signing and said the appointment represented 'advancement of a major road scheme' which will complete the motorway connection to Rosslare Europort.