Sligo County Council are delighted to announce that the long awaited N4 Collooney to Castlebaldwin Road Project shall open to traffic over the coming weeks but not on the 16th August as is being reported on some media platforms.
N4 Collooney to Castlebaldwin Road Opening
Construction on the mainline is substantially complete with snagging, fencing and safety works being completed at present. Other works associated with this Contract on the local road network will be ongoing until Q4 2021 but will have minimal disruption to the N4 national road traffic. The most significant items which will remain outstanding are as follows:
- Construction of a roundabout in Castlebaldwin Village at the junction of the old N4 and the new L-1404 local road;
- Service crossings north of the N4/N17 Toberbride Roundabout on the N4 Sligo Road and west of the N4/N17 Toberbride Roundabout on the N17 Galway Road.
Traffic management arrangements in respect of these works will be communicated in due course.
Motorists are advised to exercise caution when using the new road until they become fully familiar with its layout and junction arrangements.
This new Type 2 Dual Carriageway between Collooney and Castlebaldwin will be one of the most significant road projects ever built in the Northwest Region. It will provide approximately 15km of new national road, built to the highest safety, environmental and infrastructural standards, and will change the future of Sligo. The new N4 will be part of a key strategic link between Dublin and Sligo, and will also open up the N17 Atlantic Economic Corridor network. It has the potential to be a game changer – by helping to boost the local economy, bring jobs to the region and make Sligo a better and safer place to live, travel, and work.
National Policy Context
The N4 Collooney to Castlebaldwin Road Scheme was included in the Building on Recovery: Infrastructure and Capital Investment Capital Plan 2016-2021, as a key priority in the roads programme which will support economic growth. The Plan identified it as one of the “critical gaps” in our existing infrastructure, which needs to be upgraded.
A core priority under Project Ireland 2040 National Planning Framework is the essential requirement to enhance and upgrade accessibility between urban centres of population and their regions, in parallel with the initiation of compact growth of urban centres. This has a crucial role to play in maximising the growth potential of the regional urban centres, one of which is Sligo, and the economy as a whole. The delivery of the N4 Collooney to Castlebaldwin Scheme is listed as one of the key Schemes to be delivered under Strategic Outcome No. 2 ‘Enhanced Regional Accessibility’ of the National Development Plan.
Scheme Details and Benefits
The new road ties into the existing N4/N17 Toberbride Roundabout on the northern end. A compact grade separated junction is provided approximately midway along the 15km realignment at the local road L-1502 which will facilitate access to the local towns of Ballymote and Riverstown as well as the surrounding areas. A roundabout junction is provided to the southeast of Castlebaldwin village where the cross section of the new road changes from a Type 2 Dual Carriageway to a Single Carriageway on the Boyle Dublin side of this roundabout to tie back into the existing N4.
Delivery of this Scheme will:
- Significantly improve safety, by reducing the number of fatalities and injuries on the N4 and the existing surrounding local road
- Reduce inter-urban journey times and improve journey time reliability, which will remove barriers to economic development of the
- Provide a corridor of transport infrastructure that will encourage and support existing investment and employment in Sligo and the Northwest.
- Improve Road based Public Transport, quality of life for residents and improve accessibility to work, education and other activities.
- Improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists wishing to access local services.
Type 2 Dual Carriageway
The cross section of the new N4 from the N4/N17 Toberbride Roundabout to the newly constructed roundabout in Castlebaldwin is a Type 2 Dual Carriageway. This cross section consists of two 3.5m lanes in both directions with a central median of 1.5m and a hard strip of 0.5m on both sides of the road. Laybys are provided along the new road in each direction to allow road users to pull in safely where required. This road cross section has a capacity of 20,000 vehicles per day and therefore has sufficient spare capacity to accommodate significant traffic growth in the years to come. A safety barrier is provided in the central median to increase safety for users of this road.
An offline 3.2km active travel route is provided from the N4/N17 Toberbride roundabout to Doorly Td. where users can then join the old N4 which will be a local road with very low levels of traffic. Sligo County Council has commenced planning for a separate active travel project with the objective of providing a dedicated active travel facility from Doorly Td. along this existing old N4 road or within the lands acquired for the N4 national road realignment to Castlebaldwin Village. Sligo County Council has also commenced planning for an active travel project from the N4/N17 Toberbride Roundabout to Collooney Village.
A 0.6km active travel route is also been provided in Castlebaldwin which will link a historic trail called the Miners Way to Castlebaldwin Village and an amenity area being constructed as part of the N4 Collooney to Castlebaldwin Road Project.