Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Terence Slowey with minister of state Joe McHugh
Two new road projects in Donegal are being officially opened today.
The Blackburn Bridge re-alignment project between Ballybofey and Donegal town and the N56 Boyoughter to Kilkenny road scheme at the Gweebarra Bridge, Leitirmacaward were both being opened this afternoon.
The €6.3m Blackburn Bridge re-alignment was funded by Transport Infrastructure Ireland and was fully opened to the public last August following a 13 month construction period.
The existing road was narrow, with no hard shoulders or verges. The road alignment consisted of some long straights followed by tight bends. It had a poor road safety record where a number of fatal accidents occurred in recent years.
Work on this road, 2km south of Ballybofey, involved the widening and realignment of a 2.5km route to a 7.3m carriageway with hard shoulders and included the construction of a new bridge structure to cross the Burn Daurnett river.
The N56 Boyoughter to Kilkenny road scheme at the Gweebarra Bridge, Leitirmacaward is part of the overall N56 Dungloe to Glenties project and is the second section of the project to be opened following the completion of the Cloughbolie to Boyoughter scheme. The first phase of this project from Cloughbolie to Boyoughter saw the removal of the Meenacarn Bends, and the completion of this second phase sees the removal of the famous Gweebarra Bends. The total cost of the project is €70m.
This road project is a total of 5.1km in length and includes a new cycle track along the entire length of the route.
Phase 3 from Kilkenny to Letterlilly is out to tender with work due to being before the end of the year at a cost of an estimated €12m.
Donegal TD and minister for state Joe McHugh said the project is proof of the hard work which was done by former Donegal TD Dinny McGinley.
Speaking before the officially road openings this afternoon, Minister McHugh said: “The completion of roadworks in Leitirmacaward and outside Ballybofey is proof this Government is working for Donegal.
“The latest completion of work on the N56 is a testament to the fruitful work of former Minister Dinny McGinley who worked hard to ensure this work got underway in 2015.
“The removal of the Meenacarn Bends and now the Gweebarra Bends is an enormous legacy for Dinny and for those of us in Government who are working hard to get Donegal ahead again.
“The Mulantiboyle Bridge and the Cockhill Bridge are two more infrastructure projects delivered and being delivered.
“Minister Pascal O Donohue has been extremely supportive of Donegal. All these projects, those due to start and those underway or completed are all providing work for numerous local sub-contractors and their employees."