The new ring road around Portlaoise – which will link the Timahoe Road to the Abbeyleix Road – has been hit with further delays but the team behind the project are confident it will be ready to be officially opened on Friday, November 1.
Initially the project was due to be completed by the end of July and in time for the start of the new school term but that was pushed back until October 9.
But that has now been revised until November 1 with an official opening pencilled in for that date.
Traffic is operating as normal again on the Abbeyleix Road and Fr Brown avenue past O’Moore Park having been closed for a number of weeks.
Some final resurfacing works have to be carried out by the surfacing contractors, who are sub-contracted that element of work by the main contractors Total Highway Maintenance (THM).
A Laois County Council official said that finishing touches are being worked on now and that the finishing line is within sight. Work started on that road in July 2018.
The spokesperson also said there was no truth in the rumour that the road was too narrow and that it was designed to the highest specifications.
Including land purchases, the cost of the road is close to €7m and consists of a new 550 metre single carriageway road between the R426 Timahoe Road and N77 Abbeyleix Road. There is also an extension to the existing link road that will allow motorists come off the ring road and up to Aldi, Lidl, Laois County Offices and Supermacs.
There has also been work on the roundabout on the Timahoe Road and the construction of a new roundabout on the Abbeyleix Road as well as the re-alignment of that road coming out of Portlaoise.
The development will complete the inner relief road around Portlaoise and will fully connect the N80 Stradbally Road to the N80 Mountmellick Road meaning motorists will not have to come through town. It is expected to considerably ease traffic through Portlaoise town.
The project has been funded by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.
Elsewhere, work has started on the famous ‘Arles bends’ and a new speed limit is set to be introduced from just outside Arles, reducing the limit form 100km/h to 60 km/h.
Work started at the end of August on that ‘N80 Maidenhead Realignment Scheme’ and is being carried out by Clonmel Enterprises Limited for Laois County Council. Transport Infrastructure Ireland are funding that project and an 18-month timeline has been put on the job.