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€40m Allocated For Maintenance Of Midlands Roads This Year

The funding will supplement the existing budgets of each county council.

Just over €40 million is being allocated to help with the upgrade and maintenance of roads in the midlands this year.

The funding, from central government, will supplement the existing roads budget of each local authority.

€1 million will be spent on climate change adaptation project, with €900,000 for safety works.

Offaly is the biggest beneficiary, receiving just shy of €15 million . 

Laois is getting €13.5 million and €12.9 million will go to Westmeath.

The projects receiving the most funding in each county are the Edenderry Inner Relief Road, the Athlone Railway Link, and improvement works to Poorman's Bridge near Abbeyleix.

Local public reps have been welcoming the news this afternoon.

Junior Finance Minister and Laois-Offaly Fianna Fáil TD, Seán Fleming expects all of the works to be completed by the end of the year;

"I specifically want to highlight the funding for bridge rehabilitation and specific improvement grants.  Also €680,000 has been announced to carry out works in Mountrath and Borris in Ossory. 

"There is also special funding for Cycle Signs, Active Travel and Rural Speed Limit Signage.

 "This announcement, so early in the year, gives Laois County Council ample time to carry out all these very important works in this calendar year."

His party colleague, Longford-Westmeath TD and Junior Housing Minister, Peter Burke also welcomed the news;

"This funding will be well spent keeping our commuters, motorists, cyclists and pedestrians safe on our roads. 

"Road improvements will make up €6.5 million of the total fund, as well as restoration, where over €1 million will be spent. 

"Specific safety works will be carried out in Ballinea, Cullion, Tullaniskey, Moate, Mount Temple and in other locations."

Green Party senator and Junior Minister for Agriculture, Offaly's Pippa Hackett welcomed, in particular, the climate aspects of the funding;

"This includes an allocation for climate change adaptation works for roads vulnerable to the impact of climate change and severe weather events.

"In Laois, there is a further €148,000 for Active Travel, and this, together with funding for safety projects, including the provision for signage to support lower speed limits in housing areas, rural speed limit signage and 'safe passing' cycle signage, means that more and more people will feel safer to use our roads for walking and cycling."

And Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council, Fine Gael's Conor Bergin is particularly pleased about the long-awaited upgrade to the old N7 road linking Dublin and Limerick;

"€680,000 has been secured for resurfacing improvements to the R445 road between Borris-In-Ossory and Mountrath...

‘’This is great news for anyone who travels this road between Ballaghmore, Borris-In-Ossory, Mountrath and Portlaoise on a daily basis that significant improvements will be carried out to a number of sections of the road which are most in need of repair.

‘’I have been raising this issue with Laois County Council and I proposed a notice of motion at our Municipal Meeting last November asking for the Council to apply to the Department of Transport for funding under the Former National Roads category of the Local & Regional Roads allocation to address a number of the worst sections of this road."

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