After months and months of delays, traffic congestion and frustration – the brand new Portlaoise ring road will fully and officially open on Friday.
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 was then revised until November 1 with an official opening now in for that date.
Traffic has been operating largely as normal again on the Abbeyleix Road in recent weeks since the new roundabout was installed but there have been some delays at times as works were still being carried out on pedestrian crossings and resufacings.
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).
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.
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.
Laois Caothaoirleach Willie Aird will officially open the road at 10.30am on Friday.