N4 Proposed Road Development
Project Update – September 2015
On 22nd of July, 2014, An Bord Pleanála granted Planning approval for the N4 Collooney to Castlebaldwin Proposed Road Development under section 51 of the Roads Act, 1993 (as amended). The planning approval was granted without modification to the scheme presented by National Road Design Office of Sligo County Council.
An Bord Pleanála also confirmed the Compulsory Purchase Order On 22nd of July, 2014, without modification.
The “Notice to Treat” was served on all of the affected landowners in February 2015 and land purchase and accommodation works agreements are currently being negotiated.
The “Notice to Enter” was served on all of the affected landowners in March 2015.
Noone Civil Engineering and Construction Ltd have been appointed by Sligo County Council, to construct the Permanent Fence along the road development. Works started on site in August 2015 and are expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2016.
The N4 Collooney to Castlebaldwin Road Development Project does not directly impact on any known archaeological sites, however there is potential for previously unrecorded archaeological features with no surface traces. An archaeological geophysical survey was carried out in June 2015 to identify areas of archaeological potential. Rubicon Heritage Services Ltd have been appointed by Sligo County Council to undertake a programme of archaeological test trenching along the entire length of the scheme, informed by the results of the geophysical survey. This work is anticipated to be undertaken over a 3 month period. Full excavation of any archaeological remains identified by this testing will be carried out in 2016.
It is proposed to divert existing overhead power lines along the route in advance of the main construction contract. The timing of these works is yet to be agreed with the ESB and some of these works may occur in late 2015 with the remainder completed in 2016.
SLIGO’S LARGEST INFRASTRUCTURAL PROJECT IN MODERN TIMES
The N4 National Primary Route is part of the East/West road corridor linking Ireland’s largest transportation node (Dublin) with the largest transportation node in the North-West (Sligo). It measures c. 34.8km in County Sligo of which c. 11.6km between Sligo Town and Collooney is Type 1 Dual Carriageway with
c. 8.8km south of Castlebaldwin having already been realigned to Standard Single Carriageway standard.
The Proposed Road Development is one of the biggest and most complex infrastructural projects ever proposed to be developed in County Sligo. It constitutes the remaining portion (As indicated in image above) of the N4 in Co. Sligo requiring improvement and measures approximately 14.71km in length passing through the townlands of Rathrippin, Collooney, Toberbride, Mullaghnabreena, Ardcurley, Cloonamahan, Doorly, Knocknagroagh, Drumfin, Cloonlurg, Carrowkeel, Carrownagark, Kingsbrook, Aghalenane, Ardloy, Springfield, Tawnagh, Cloonymeenaghan, Sheerevagh, Cloongad, Drumderry, Annaghcor, Castlebaldwin, Cloghoge Upper and Cloghoge Lower. The road type will be Type 2 Dual Carriageway tied into the existing network to the south via a section of Standard Single Carriageway.
The Proposed Road Development comprises inter-alia:
- 14.71km of Type 2 Dual Carriageway;
- New side roads (including in some cases parallel links) and upgrading of existing roads;
- One at-grade roundabout junction on the mainline;
- One Compact Grade Separated Junction on the mainline;
- Three at-grade roundabout junctions on side-roads;
- Four road overbridges;
- Six road underbridges;
- Two river bridges;
- Culverts and associated diversions of existing minor watercourses and drainage ditches;
- All the necessary drainage works associated with the proposed road development;
- The diversion of services and utilities;
- Earthworks operations including the management of spoil generated by the proposed road development;
- Environmental mitigation works;
In order to provide access/egress from the local roads/dwellings along the online upgrade section a single carriageway parallel access road is proposed to the east of the existing N4 between Toberbride and Doorly. The access road connects to the eastern arm of the Toberbride Roundabout and the existing N4 at Doorly. The access road connects to the eastern arm of the Toberbride Roundabout and the existing N4 at Doorly. Dwellings on the western side of the N4 can access the parallel road via a proposed overbridge at Toberbride and a proposed underbridge at Doorly (via a further western parallel road).
As part of the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO), 181.5 hectares of land are proposed to be acquired. 22 Public Rights of Way and 8 Private Rights of way are proposed to be extinguished.
Objectives of the Proposed Road Development:
The provision of the realignment provides the following key benefits:
- To improve the N4 route to modern day standards including the provision of safe overtaking and appropriate road width;
- To provide a high quality road for strategic routes with reserve capacity for future demand;
- To assist in improving the competitiveness and efficiency of the economy both locally and nationally;
- To reduce travel times and improve access to the north-west region;
- To provide a corridor of transport infrastructure that will encourage and support existing investment and employment in Sligo and the Northwest.
- Improve transport infrastructure for local traffic;
- To improve safety along the existing roads and at junctions/accesses;
- To reduce environmental and social impacts on the local residents and communities along the existing N4.
- To support government plans and policies in relation to transport and spatial development in the West of Ireland.
The scheme was designed in-house by Sligo County Council's Major Road Schemes Design Team so the lead witnesses at the Oral Hearing (see below) were Sligo County Council Road Design Engineers.
The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was also produced by the Sligo County Council's Major National Road Design Team whom also coordinated and managed the environmental assessment input from groups of specialist sub-consultants whose disciplines related to Traffic Modelling, Geotechnical, Flood Risk, Socio-Economic, Non-Agricultural Property, Noise and Vibration, Air Quality, Landscape and Visual, Agricultural Property, Flora, Fauna and Fisheries, Soils and Geology, Hydrology and Hydrogeology, Archaeology, Architecture and Cultural Heritage. Each sub-consultant also provided evidence at the Oral Hearing relative to their various disciplines.
The detailed and complex Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) was also prepared by members of the in-house Road Design team.
Statutory Procedure and Consent Approvals:
In early December 2013, correspondence was received from the NRA conveying approval to publish the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO), Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Natura Impact Statement (NIS) documentation and to submit the N4 Collooney to Castlebaldwin Proposed Road Development to An Bord Pleanála for planning approval. The publication of Statutory Notices in Local and National press on the 19th and 21st December 2013 commenced this process. The CPO, EIS and NIS were placed on Public display and submissions or observations were requested to be made by interested parties to An Bord Pleanála. At the closing date for submissions, there were almost 100 submissions/observations in relation to aspects of the Proposed Road Development.
The Board subsequently held an Oral Hearing from the 28th to the 30th of April in the Castledargan Hotel, Ballygawley. This provided a forum for the cross examination of the aforementioned witnesses by those who had made bona-fide submissions and the Inspector delegated by the Board to conduct the hearing.
Following this the Board, having considered the objections made and the report of the Inspector who conducted the Oral Hearing approved (on the 22nd of July, 2014) the Proposed Road Development under section 51 of the Roads Act, 1993 (as amended). The Board also confirmed the CPO for the Proposed Road Development. Notice of Confirmation of the Compulsory Purchase Order was published in the Sligo Weekender on the 28th August 2014 with the CPO becoming operative 3 weeks later. The eight week period during which an appeal to the High Court could take place ended on the 24th October, 2014.
View Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Road Development
View Briefs of Evidence for the Proposed Road Development
View An Bord Pleanála for the Proposed Road Development Oral Hearing
View Supplementary Information for the Proposed Road Development Oral Hearing