An upgrade of the busy Westport to Mulranny road will mean that users of the Great Western Greenway will no longer have to cross the N59 at what is currently described as an “extremely deficient” crossing.
The section of road and greenway to be upgraded between Newport and Westport is 1.8km, including mostly upgrading the current road as well as 600m of new-build road construction.
The works are just a small part of wider upgrade works on the Great Western Greenway since the full route opened in 2011. Extra sections have been added around Westport, and localised work has been done such as adding a toucan crossing to the greenway where it intersects with the busy Castlebar Road in Westport.
The N59 Rossow Bends scheme continues from the N59 Kilbride Scheme which was completed 2012. — both part of the overall N59 Westport to Mulranny Road Improvement Scheme. It is being funded as part of a €60 million package of funding for minor works across the country to be constructed over the next three years.
A Department of Transport statement said: “The existing road and junctions are extremely deficient in cross section, alignment and visibility. The Great Western Greenway, a 42km off-road walking and cycling trail, runs close to and parallel to the N59 in this area and crosses the N59 at-grade at this location, along a non-overtaking section of the road where visibility is deficient.”
It added: “The proposed road has Type 3 single carriageway construction 600m being constructed off-line, with a 2.5m wide cycleway alongside for 1.2km of its length. The scheme will remove the at-grade Greenway crossing at Kilmeena (replacing it with an underpass) and improve 6 existing side road junctions. The scheme will generate positive safety, environmental, accessibility, social and integration benefits.”
While the Great Western Greenway is billed as “world class” by politicians, other sources admit that this is not yet fully the case, with considerable issues remaining such as the above mentioned crossing and no cycling provision into and out of Newport village.
IMAGE: File photo of a crossing on the greenway