After more than 10 years in the making the new road between Enfield and Edenderry was finally opened yesterday morning by Minister for Transport Leo Varadker.
At a cost of €41 million and a total of 11 kilometres in length, the new road takes what was estimated to be 71 bends from a small country road, and opens up the eastern side of Offaly and a large swathe of north west Kildare.
An Edenderry man who works in Leixlip revealed that the new road takes half an hour off his journey.
The previous road was not, it had long been accepted, fit to serve the growing town of Edenderry. Even at the height of the boom when the town developed and grew, it always suffered from being a little hard to reach.
However, while the road serves a town in Offaly with a motorway in Meath, the vast majority of it passes through a very rural part of Kildare - which is also likely to benefit from the new road.
A sign of the times: Minister Leo Varadker noted that his predecessor used to open a new road once a week. And three years after taking office, this was his first.
At the official opening the Mayor of Kildare, Cllr. Mark Wall remarked that “given the constraints over recent years in funding projects, particularly major projects such as this, it is great to witness the opening of a piece of infrastructure which will enhance the life of the local community and no doubt assist with economic growth in north west Kildare and east Offaly.
“I hope this is a sign of things to come for the future in Kildare and that we will see more investment in improving and upgrading infrastructure in this county to benefit the local economy.
“This will improve safety for all users with better alignment, improved access for landownersand improved sight visibility at junctions.”