Motorway traffic approaches Naas
Work on three major road projects in the Naas area will start shortly.
The widening of the M7 to three lanes between Junction 9 (the big Ball) and the M7/M9 interchange along with the Sallins Bypass and the creation of an interchange at Osberstown will cost an estimated €110m.
It was decided some time ago that the three projects would proceed together.
Work will start before the end of the year on the motorway widening project and it is anticipated that the road widening job will conclude in late 2019 and the entire project will be ready by early 2020.
The M7 is to broadened from two lanes to three lanes in both directions for 14 kms. The Sallins by-pass will be both dual carriageway and single carriageway and will divert many of the estimated 20,000 vehicles passing through Sallins every day. The bypass will be linked to the Sallins town centre by a 1.2km road.
The work also envisages the replacement and relocation of motorway ramps at Junction 10 along with two bridges over the River Liffey, a bridge over the Grand Canal as well as the Osberstown interchange bridge spanning the motorway and a bypass bridge under the railway line near Sallins (which will be constructed by Irish Rail).
Allthough traffic management measures will be in place during the construction period between J9 and J11, two lanes of traffic will be maintained at all times between 6am and 10pm. A special speed limit will be in place for the duration of the works. An emergency lane will be available through the works at all times.
The M7 carries 70,000 vehicles per day.
Taooiseach Leo Varadkar said the motorway is vital for commuters and for freight transport, which is prone to congestion at peak times. He also said these projects help to ensure balanced regional development.
Transport Minister Shane Ross said the road widening will improve traffic flow while the two other projects will enhance connections between the M7 and the towns of Naas and Sallins.
Peter Carey CEO of Kildare County Council said the investment will improve the attractiveness of the area as a location for business and tourism enterprises.
Deputy James Lawless said the projects “have been a long time coming” but would be critical for road users in Naas and Sallins as well as areas like Prosperous and Clane.