N5 preferred route gets approval from Westport councillors

While controversy surrounded the proposed preferred route of the Westport to Bohola dual carriageway in the Castlebar area, with the Murphy family home in Doogarry, Breaffy, to be demolished to accommodate the road, members of the Westport Electoral Area Committee this week proposed that the 40km type two dual carriageway route be given the go ahead.

During a special meeting of the area committee on Monday, Joe Beirne, senior executive engineer with Mayo County Council, outlined that the project, which is the biggest Mayo County Council had ever been involved in, is envisaged to be constructed in 2012/2013 if adopted by Mayo County Council; following preliminary design; the completion of a compulsory purchase order and environmental impact statement; and brought before An Bord Pleanala towards the end of 2010.

Senior engineer with the roads design office Tony McNulty said that following the presentation of the emerging preferred route in December last year, submissions were received with most of them asking for a “tweaking” in the project.

The Westport councillors raised a few concerns at this week’s meeting with Councillor John O’Malley asking about the status of planning decisions in the area and the potential increase in traffic on the Golf Links Road area, Cllr Margaret Adams asking about the Ailitreesh area in the town, and Cllr Austin Francis O’Malley enquired whether underpasses would be provided along the route for farmers.

In relation to planning, Mr McNulty said that those with deferred planning in the area have been accommodated as much as possible and road planning restrictions along the current N5 will remain the same until the new N5 is constructed.

As regards design detail in the Ailitreesh or Golf Course Road area, Mr McNulty said that these have not yet been completed and in relation to farmers — underpasses will be provided for dairy farmers, while the IFA has appointed valuers to compensate dry stock farmers along the route.


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