€6.3m project outside Ballybofey an important investment in Donegal's roads network

Official opening of the Blackburn Bridge Realignment Scheme Phase 1

Democrat Reporter

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€6.3m project outside Ballybofey an important investment in Donegal's roads network

An aerial view of the €6.3m project south of Ballybofey

Cllr. Terence Slowey officially opened the Blackburn Bridge Realignment Scheme Phase 1 just outisde Ballybofey on Monday last, May 8th.

This €6.3m project was funded by Transport Infrastructure Ireland and was fully opened to the public last August following a 13 month construction period.

Cathaoirleach Cllr. Terence Slowey believes that this is another good example of the council working with Transport Infrastructure Ireland to improve the county’s road network saying “this project has significantly improved safety for all road users using this section of road and represents a major investment in the strategic road network in the county. I would like to commend everyone involved in this project which is a huge achievement in a relatively short time frame and considering the economic challenges experienced in the last number of years”.

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.

Cathaoirleach Cllr. Terence Slowey officially opened the Blackburn Bridge Realignment Scheme Phase 1 on Monday 8 May at the opening from left are Cllr Liam Doherty, Joe McHugh TD is the Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Cllr Gary Doherty, Cathaoirleach Cllr. Terence Slowey, Cllr. Patrick McGowan, John McLaughlin, Director of Service, Roads and Transportation and Seamus Neely, County Manager, - Photo Clive Wasson

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.

Seamus Neely Chief Executive with Donegal County Council believes that this project represents an important investment in our roads network from a strategic perspective saying “this realignment scheme represents a further improvement to the Atlantic Corridor linking Galway to Derry and onto Belfast and is part of the EU TEN-T Comprehensive Network. Infrastructural developments such as this are vital as they continue to improve access to the North West, both to and from the internal market”.

Donegal based National Road Office staff and consultants have been working on the scheme since 2011 and during its construction there were up to 50 main contractor and sub-contractor workers employed on site.

Roughan & O’Donovan, Jacobs, GVA Donal O’Buachalla, IGSL where employed as consultants for the project and the main contractor was Wills Bros Ltd.

Local councillors, land owners, council staff and contractors with Cathaoirleach Cllr. Terence Slowey after he officially opened the Blackburn Bridge Realignment Scheme Phase 1 on Monday 8 May - Photo Clive Wasson

Other recently completed works funded by Transport Infrastructure Ireland on this immediate section of the N15 include the N15 Kilcroghery Footpath project providing safe pedestrian facilities south of the Goland junction and in 2015 the reconstruction of the Goland Bridge.

Design is currently ongoing on other priority improvements and safety measures for the next section of the N15 from Cappry towards Ballybofey, and works have initiated for a long-term solution as part of the TEN-T network Improvement Project within Donegal.

Fr John Joe Duff and Rev Ian Pullen performing the blessing before the Cathaoirleach Cllr. Terence Slowey officially opens the Blackburn Bridge Realignment Scheme Phase 1 on Monday 8 May - Photo Clive Wasson