Sunday 20 October 2019

Sod is turned on new bypass

Ministers Brendan Howlin, Pascal Donohoe and Paul Kehoe with their shovels ahead of the sod turning for the Enniscorthy bypass.
Ministers Brendan Howlin, Pascal Donohoe and Paul Kehoe with their shovels ahead of the sod turning for the Enniscorthy bypass.
Minister for Transport Pascal Donohoe speaking in Enniscorthy at the sod turning.
The sod turning ceremony at Templescoby, outside Enniscorthy on Friday.

By Amy Lewis

Ministers Brendan Howlin, Paul Kehoe and Paschal Donohoe grabbed their shovels and went to work in Enniscorthy last week to turn the sod on the long-awaited M11 Gorey to Enniscorthy bypass.

The significant move means that work can begin in January on the €400m road scheme which will see approximately 40km of new national roads being constructed between the two towns. Now scheduled for completion in 2019, the project is expected to employ between 250 and 300 people, in addition to alleviating severe traffic bottlenecks in Enniscorthy.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin welcomed the major move forward, saying that it represents a 'significant step' in the upgrading of the link in our national road network.

'In addition to creating jobs during construction, this new motorway will connect communities, improve accessibility to Rosslare Europort, reduce travel time and will improve safety on the route,' he said.

Along with the New Ross bypass, the M11 Gorey to Enniscorthy has been included in the Government's newly-announced €27m capital plan for the next six years. It was first inititated in the Government's Infrastructural Stimulus Programme in 2012 and has fallen victim to months of delays ever since. Speaking at the ceremony, Minister Donohoe voiced the positive sentiments felt by many who have waited for this moment for a long time.

'The M11 PPP scheme will bring important economic benefits to the south east both regionally and locally. It will improve connectivity, reduce traffic congestion and increase the attractiveness of bypassed communities as places to shop, to visit, to work and to live,' he said.

As a PPP, the schemes' construction, operation and maintenance will be funded by the Consortium through private finance which includes a €110 mn investment by the European Investment Bank (EIB). Commenting on the sod-turning ceremony, Jonathan Taylor EIB Vice President responsible for Ireland said: 'The European Investment Bank is pleased to continue our support for transport investment in Ireland in co-operation with Transport Infrastructure Ireland, Irish and international investors. Improving the long-awaited M11 will benefit the people of Enniscorthy and support thousands of jobs across the country'

Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council Councillor Tony Dempsey acknowledged the co-operation of the many landowners along the proposed route of the scheme and congratulated everyone involved in the initiative. BAM PPP PGGM and Iridium Consortium were recently announced as preferred tenderers for the bypass and will be responsible for its operation and maintenance over 25 years.

The project to upgrade the M11 between Gorey and Enniscorthy will include three new sections of road: upgrading 26 km of the M11 to motorway standard, construction of a 4km dual carriageway connection to the N11/N80 and a 8 km bypass west of Enniscorthy.

Wexford People

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