The Government signed off their approval on the new €241 million Westport to Turlough Road at their cabinet meeting this week.
The development will cost €241 million and has been described as the single largest Government investment in Mayo that will have a transformative effect on the county.
The project will see the construction of 20.3km of dual carriageway from Westport to Turlough and a 2.5km single carriageway linking the road to the N59 Westport to Mulranny secondary road.
Minister Michael Ring said: “I’m delighted that the Cabinet has given the green light to this vital piece of infrastructure. This is the single largest Government investment in the history of Mayo and it will have a transformative effect on our county. Work is due to begin later this year.
"The benefits for road users from near and far as well as local residents will be immense. It will result in safer and less time consuming journeys and an improved environmental quality in the towns of Westport and Castlebar by removing through traffic.
“On a strategic level, the construction of the road will encourage investment and support employment in the county and greatly enhance connectivity within the county.
"The new N5 will link up with the N59 which is currently undergoing a €55 million improvement scheme from Westport to Mulranny. The N5, which is Mayo’s main artery to the midlands and Dublin, is undergoing major investment and significant improvements which is resulting in ever shorter journey times and safer trips.
"These works include the bypassing of Ballaghadereen and the 34km section of road between Ballaghaderreen and Scramoge which will bypasss Frenchpark, Bellanagare, Tulsk and Strokestown and which is due to progress to construction."
Fianna Fáil TD and deputy party leader Dara Calleary TD said the investment which will see the N5 upgraded from Westport to Turlough Road is welcome but greater connectivity is needed across the county, including upgrading the N26 leading to Ballina. He commented: "The news is very welcome. This has been a long-awaited upgrade project, with some false starts along the way, however with money allocated I hope the government progresses this project now."
"Many parts of our county are dependent on private vehicles and it is imperative the government invest in our road infrastructure. This should include greater connectivity for Ballina to the N5 by upgrading the N26.
"Improvements on the N26 should be next on the priority list and the government should ensure the N5 upgrade actually does begin. I will be doing everything in my power to see that these projects are kept on the agenda for commuters in Mayo."