Monaghan County Council, Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), and Department for Infrastructure (DfI) NI Roads are developing a scheme to replace the Ballynacarry Bridge and realign a portion of the N53/A37 road. This project is focused on providing a safer passageway over the River Fane on the route between Castleblayney in County Monaghan and Culloville in County Armagh.

The current road alignment on the departure and approach to the bridge raises safety issues due to the bend on the road and the current sight lines. The bridge itself is an old masonry arch bridge that was constructed in 1835. The existing carriageway and parapets at the bridge location are substandard and collision records show a high number of impacts at the bridge. The new alignment and the new bridge will allow vehicles to cross over the River Fane in a safer manner
and will remove any sharp bends from the route. The cross-section of the realigned road and bridge will have enough space capacity to allow for future active travel to be developed in the area.

The existing road and bridge will still be in place and there will be a junction from the new route that will allow for a landowner or private dwelling access. Arup have been appointed by Monaghan County Council to deliver the N53/A37 Ballynacarry Bridge Replacement Scheme from Phase 1 Concept and Feasibility stage through to Phase 5 Enabling of Procurement following the Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) Project Management Guidelines.

The project is currently entering Phase 4 Statutory Processes. Part 8 planning for the Southern section of the Bridge will be applied for imminently. The planning process for the Northern section of the development has also commenced and a Public Consultation meeting is due to take place on Friday 8th March in Culloville GAA Centre.

Ballynacarry bridge


Phase 2 – Options Selection

Phase 4 – Statutory Processes

In April 2022, Monaghan County Council appointed Arup as Technical Consultants for the delivery of the N53/A37 Ballynacarry Bridge Replacement Scheme. The N53/ A37 roadway links the towns of Castleblayney and Dundalk, passing through the counties of Monaghan, Armagh, and Louth. This cross-border National Road provides connectivity between Co. Monaghan and Dundalk, Co. Louth, the nearest “Gateway” town. The route also provides the most direct route to link to the M1 from north Monaghan and, on a wider scale, it is a strategic east-west route linking western counties and the north midlands to the Dundalk/Newry area.

The Ballynacarry Bridge Scheme proposes to address geometry and safety issues at the bridge, which is located on the border with Northern Ireland, on the N53 National Secondary route.

The principal issues with the N53 Ballynacarry Bridge are as follows:

  • Substandard carriageway width;
  • Substandard horizontal and vertical alignment;
  • Limited forward visibility;
  • Substandard stopping sight distance;
  • No hard shoulders/ hard strips on the carriageway

As well as improving the bridge geometry issues, the project will also achieve the following objectives:

  • Improved connectivity between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland on this important national border link road;
  • Improved promotion of economic development and accessibility for the entire region;
  • Improved road safety;

Reduced journey times between Monaghan and Dundalk /M1.

Ballynacarry bridge logos