Friday 1st November 2019 saw the much anticipated opening of the Portlaoise Southern Circular Road Extension connecting the R426 Timahoe Road and the N77 Abbeyleix Road. The official opening was performed by Mr. Charles Flanagan, Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, in the presence of Cathaoirleach William Aird, Oireachtas Members the Elected Members of Laois County Council.
The opening of the route marks the end of a complex construction project in the midst of an active public road network. Specifically, the opening will reduce traffic congestion in Portlaoise, will afford opportunities for the further, sustainable development of Portlaoise Town from the centre outwards and presents opportunities for the advancement of more sustainable forms of transport in and around Portlaoise.
The Scheme was fully funded through the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport under Project Ireland 2040. Without this support from the state delivery of the Scheme would not have been possible.
Cathaoirleach William Aird welcomed this scheme as not alone will it assist with the alleviation of traffic congestion in Portlaoise it opens up opportunities for the sustainable development of Portlaoise Town and added that it is a positive to see delivery on an objective of successive development plans.
The project was designed by the locally based Kilgallen & Partners Consulting Engineers. Resident Engineering services were provided directly by Laois County Council and Donnacha Reynolds (Resident Engineer), Adrian Barrett (Senior Engineer) and Farhan Nasiem (Senior Executive Engineer) warrant particular mention for the dedication and attention to detail that they brought to the Scheme.
The Principal Contractor was Total Highway Maintenance Ltd., based in Threecastles, Co. Kilkenny.
Mr. Simon Walton, Director of Services with Laois County Council noted that ‘whilst the periodic inconvenience caused by the works is regretful, the enhancements to the road network in Portlaoise will be permanent. I thank all those involved in designing, building and finishing the road with a particular mention for the many local residents, landowners business owners and local commuters whose perseverance, support and patience must be acknowledged’.