Monaghan County Council, in association with Louth County Council, and in partnership with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), has been developing a road scheme to upgrade the existing N2 between Ardee and Castleblayney. It is an important project to enhance key North/South and regional connectivity and to improve road safety and is listed in the National Development Plan for progression (subject to approvals) through pre-appraisal and early planning.
In 2018 Monaghan County Council appointed Jacobs Consulting Engineers (Jacobs) to advance the project through the planning and design process, and Jacobs have been actively working on the project for the past 4 years.
A Preferred Route Corridor for the route of the road upgrade was published in February 2021. By September 2022 Jacobs had developed an ‘Initial Road Design’ for the proposed road, which was used to consult with landowners and stakeholders in relation to the developing design. Over the last number of months any feedback received was considered, and in late February 2023 an ‘Updated Road Design’ was published on the project website www.N2MonaghanLouth.ie, providing a further opportunity to landowners and stakeholders to provide comments and feedback. Jacobs were expected to complete their design work on the current phase of the design in mid-2023.
Transport Infrastructure Ireland provide funding for National Road projects, and Monaghan County Council seek funding from TII on an annual basis to progress this scheme. The 2023 National Road funding allocations were announced on the 16th February 2023, however this year the Minister included conditions under the Roads Act in relation to the funding being made available for new road projects. The conditions specified an allocation of €600,000 for the N2 Ardee to Castleblayney Road Scheme, which is to ‘meet current project commitments’, whereas funding for other new road projects around the country was to allow ‘further progression’ of those projects.
The €600,000 allocation is less than the funding requested for the project for 2023 and is not sufficient to allow current phase design work to be completed. Monaghan County Council has made a request for additional funding to allow the project design to continue, although it is unknown if further funding will be made available in 2023.
Pending additional funding being made available, design work and progress on the project must be stopped at this point. Recommencement of the project will be dependent on further funding from TII. Monaghan County Council has written to landowners who have previously been directly contacted by the project team to inform them of the status of the project. Monaghan and Louth County Councils would like to extend their sincere gratitude to landowners and stakeholders for their co-operation over the past years on this project.
A/Director of Services
Transport, Community and Rural Development
Thursday 16th March 2023