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17 May 2022

Consultation begins on major road overhaul of one of Portlaoise's busiest roads

Cycle lanes and paths planned with narrowing of vehicle carriageway planned

laois county council

County Hall Portlaoise

Laois County Council wants the public's views on extensive changes to one of the busiest roads in Portlaoise.

The local authority has has given notice of its intention to carry out extensive changes on the N77 Abbeyleix Road between the Market Square roundabout and the M7 motorway, south of Portlaoise.

New footpaths, cycle lanes and pedestrian crossings are among the proposals for the road. New lighting is planned - the council has identified safety issues with some existing lights. Another issue is the surface and resurfacing is planed to address this.  

The council says the N77 Abbeyleix Road Rehabilitation and Enhancement scheme will consist of the following work­:

  • Refurbished footpath / cycle facilities on the western side of the N77 Abbeyleix Road
  • New footpath / cycle facilities on the eastern side of the N77 Abbeyleix Road providing connectivity with ESB training centre, Meelick Road & Midway Hotel
  • Altered road cross section which shall reduce the prevailing speed of vehicles.
  • Provision of new pavement surface.
  • Review of Public Lighting and provision of additional poles where appropriate
  • New Landscaping
  • Additional drainage

MORE BELOW IMAGE

The council says there are a number of specific safety issues identified which need to be addressed. It says the width of the N77 along this stretch varies from 9.1m to 12.1m and includes wide hard shoulders which are conducive to the development of inappropriate speed.

It says the existing uncontrolled pedestrian crossing point close to the Meelick Junction is a very wide uncontrolled junction and is located in an area where traffic speeds can be high.

It adds that there are no pedestrian crossing facilities on the Meelick road. The council says pedestrian movements would benefit from some form of crossing at this location.

Another factor is insufficient public lighting exists along this stretch of the N77. In certain locations is it impaired by vegetation and at other locations it is not fully illuminating the road. Public lighting maintenance has also indicated that existing lighting does not have ducting and is not in accordance with current safety standards.

The council adds that the existing pavement requires resurfacing.

County hall has also outlined the overall objective.

“The objective of a Road Safety Improvement Scheme is to achieve a reduction in the frequency, and severity of collision. Road Safety Improvement Schemes should be appropriate to and consistent with the characteristics of the adjacent sections of
the route having regard to collision history, road user demand collision history and design speed. Road Safety Improvement Schemes should be designed to improve road safety and make better use of the existing road network,” it says.

The council says has screen the project of its possible impact on the environment. However, this concluded that an Environmental Impact Assessment is not required in respect of this proposed development.  The public can apply to An Bord Pleanála for a screening determination as to whether the development would be likely to have significant effects on the environment.

Plans and particulars of the changes available for viewing on our online consultation portal at www.consult.laois.ie until January 27. The  plans are also available for inspection by appointment only at County Hall in Portlaoise.

Appointments must be arranged in advance by emailing roadsadmin@laoiscoco.ie or by contacting 057 8664000. MORE BELOW IMAGE

Submissions or observations with respect to the proposed development, dealing with the proper planning and the sustainable development of the area in which the development would be situated, may be made online at https://consult.laois.ie 5 pm on 10th February, 2022.

Submissions or observations with respect to the proposed development, dealing with the proper planning and the sustainable development of the area in which the development would be situated, may also be made in writing to: Simon Walton, Director of Services, Laois County Council, Áras an Chontae, Portlaoise, Co. Laois to be received not later than 5 pm February 10, 2022. 

The council says submissions should be clearly marked: N77 ABBEYLEIX ROAD  REHABILITATION & ENHANCEMENT SCHEME – Part VIII.

Part of the Abbeyleix Road underwent a major change in recent years with the opening of a new road that linked it with the Timahoe Road. 

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