The two new sections of the N61 Roscommon to Boyle road were officially opened this morning, Tuesday November 13th, by Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council Tony Ward.
The N61 Ratallen and Treanagry Road Improvement project, to give it the official title, involved the realignment and widening of approximately 2.7km of National Secondary road. There were two sections in the project: 1.2km in the townlands of Ratallen & Runnaboll:
and approximately 1.5km in the townlands of Cloonshaghan, Treanagry & Knockroe:
Protected Cycle / Walking lanes are a welcome addition to the roads and will help facilitate safe recreational use.
The overall value of the project, from conception to completion, was in the region of €7 million with €4.7 million being allocated this year alone.
Road Safety was the key message put forward by all the speakers at the event which also included local Senator Frank Feighan, Roscommon County Council Director of Services Majella Hunt and Andrew Whelan Director of Clare Civil Engineering Ltd – the main contractors on the project.
Below is a video from our live Facebook streaming of the event. Note, audio quality is bad in places due to the windy conditions on site:
Commenting after the event Senator Frank Feighan said
“I am delighted that the major road safety works being carried out on this part of the N61 has finished. I am very pleased that the reopening of the road has brought to to an end the diversion via Frenchpark and of course that will mean very good news for many affected motorists. It will also lead to reduced journey times.”
He went on to say that he “fully acknowledge that many motorists have been inconvenienced as a result of these works but significantly, this scheme has removed two very dangerous bends along this route” and concluded by saying “Following the completion of this project, I will continue to seek and secure more funding to further improve more sections of this very busy national secondary road.”
In his address Andrew Whelan said his company was delighted to have completed the project on time and within budget. Mr Whelan also paid tribute to the good working relationship they had with Roscommon County Council’s representatives on site. The impact of the project on the local economy was noted with Mr Whelan adding that 89% of the materials used on the project were purchased within an 18 mile radius of the site.
The stone was sourced from the Roadstone Quarries in Boyle and Castlemine, near Four Mile House. The Tarmacadam also came from the Castlemine plant. In addition a large number of employees lived in Elphin for the duration of the scheme and local sub-contractors were employed.
Over the course of the past nine months 200 people worked on the scheme with 60 workers on site during the past month alone.
Speaking to RoscommonDaily.com Adrian Kielty, Senior Engineer with Roscommon County Council, said that the most challenging aspect of the project was the terrain, with the contractors having to excavate 10 metres (30 feet) of subsoil from one location in order find solid ground to construct the base for the new road. He also said that being able to close the sections of the N61 completely aided the speed of construction. In concluding he confirmed that the contractors would remain on site for a number of weeks to add the finishing touches to the scheme.
Senator Maura Hopkins has said that she is “delighted” that the road has re-opened
“It was great to meet with nearby residents at the official opening who were all very satisfied with the safety works completed. While it has resulted in inconvenience for residents and motorists over the past number of months, these works were very necessary in order to improve road safety for road users and the local community”.
Senator Hopkins complimented “Roscommon County Council staff and the contractors Clare Civil Engineering Ltd. for their hard work on this project.” She concluded by saying she “will continue to work hard to secure further funding for further road safety improvements required across the county”.