Newhall Junction / GOOGLE MAPS
One of the most dangerous junctions in County Kildare is set for a radical re-design to help prevent traffic collisions.
Work is to start on proposed improvements at Newhall Junction on the R445 between Newbridge and Naas after local councillors agreed to proceed to planning permission for the project.
Being planned is a roundabout design which will regulate traffic coming from both directions of the R445 as well as two side roads.
The July meeting of Kildare Newbridge Municipal District heard that gardaí have expressed concerns to the councils on a number of occasions about the location and its safety record.
Paul Bergin of consulting firm Kilgallen Partners told the meeting that there were 35 recorded traffic accidents at the junction between 1996 and 2014.
Of these incidents, there was one fatality, four serious injuries and 31 minor injuries.
Mr Bergin added that the Garda Traffic Division confirmed that there were two serious accidents at the location in recent months, both of which required hospitalisation.
High collision rate
Councillors were told that the collision rate for the crossroads is five times higher than the average collision rate for Kildare.
Mr Bergin explained that a high level of angle-turn collisions points to the layout of the junction being a major factor.
The Garda Traffic Division wrote to the Council on three occasions in 2003, 2012 and 2018 to state its concerns about the safety of the junction.
Cllr Peggy O'Dwyer said the improvement of the junction would be a very positive development for the local area.
David Reel from the council said that there was €3m in direct capital funding available for the project.
He added: “We have the money. It is 100% funded.”
Mr Reel also suggested that the council would liaise with the Department of Transport to inquire if the works could be part-funded by the Department.
He said: “Gardai are writing to us on a regular basis expressing their concerns. If we don’t do something soon, something serious will happen."
Cllr Kevin Duffy praised the “fantastic design” of the project and said he was keen to get it started as soon as possible.
The proposed development will now be advertised and submissions can be made after which a report is presented to the members of the council.
The local authority may later decide to vary or modify the development after considering the submissions.
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