THE announcement that the N22 Macroom by-pass project is to receive a cash injection of an extra €10.2m in 2017 is according to one Macroom-based TD a sign that the project is being prioritised by the Government.
Cork North West TD and Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Michael Creed, confirmed that there will be a €10.2m increase in funding for the N22 Macroom-Baile Bhuirne by-pass project in 2017. Mr Creed said the government allocation to Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) will be increased to €14m for 2017, up from €3.8m in 2016.
‘This increased spend of €14m in 2017 on the Macroom-Baile Bhuirne by-pass project is a clear signal of intent from the Government that this project is a clear priority,’ he said.
‘This funding follows recent confirmation that Cork County Council has recently advertised for tenders for advance works relating to the N22 by-pass scheme. Tenders have been issued for contracts to carry out site investigation works, geophysical surveying relating to archaeology and advance civil works contract including site clearance and fencing. Further tender documents will also issue shortly for archaeology contracts and these are due to commence in 2017.’
Mr Creed added: ‘There is now a clear momentum behind this project ahead of the Government’s capital investment review in the New Year when it is expected that extra resources will be provided for priority projects that are at an advanced stage of progression to move to full construction.’
Earlier in the summer, a TII report showed that while the Macroom by-pass was in the Capital Investment Programme for 2016-2021, funding had not been allocated for the project and that the Dunkettle Interchange in 2019/2020 was their top priority.
‘It is an achievement to get it into the Capital Investment Programme as projects like the Cork-Limerick motorway were not included in it, so this is a very good sign that it will be good to go once the funding is in place,’ said a spokesperson for the Macroom-based TD.
Meanwhile, Ballyvourney-based Fianna Fáil TD Aindrias Moynihan said he was pleased with the announcement for the much-needed Macroom by-pass, especially as funding was reduced last year and that TII indicated it would be post-2021 construction.
‘The land purchase has dragged on since 2013 and the way has been clear for some time to go ahead to tender for construction. It’s important to get the road going to tender for construction stage and, as the capital plan is reviewed next year, it’s critical that the estimated €160m needed to build the road is prioritised,’ said Deputy Moynihan.
Incidentally, both Deputy Creed and Deputy Moynihan’s fathers, who were also TDs in Cork North West, actively campaigned for the construction of the Macroom by-pass during their time in the Dáil.