The new city bypass and motorway linking Waterford to Dublin remain on target for their anticipated 2010 completion, with the new bridge likely to be open to motorists this autumn.

The Government this week announced details of its National Roads Programme for 2009, which will include €7,179,295 for projects in Waterford city and county. Foremost amongst these is the City Bypass, along with the Dungarvan Outer Bypass and the Kinsalebeg road project.

This year’s allocation is significantly lower then the 2008 grant of €63m, which included €9m to the City Council to cover its costs in relation to the Bypass. However a City Council spokesperson confirmed that this additional funding in recent years was necessary to secure land for the bypass’ construction and undertake several advance contracts. The 2009 allocation is solely for pavement surfacing works, route lighting, bridge maintenance and winter road maintenance.

Welcoming the allocations, Minister Martin Cullen said the Waterford works would be particularly valuable in these challenging economic times. “What is common to all of these projects is that they make for easier, safer, road journeys in less built-up traffic”, he added.

The city bypass, which is a Public Private Partnership scheme, consists of 23km of dual carriageway from west of Kilmeaden to east of Slieverue in County Kilkenny. It will provide Waterford with a second crossing over the Suir allowing traffic on the N25 Cork/Rosslare route to bypass the city, and will have a series of connecting roads linking it to towns in the southeast region. The scheme will remove traffic currently forced onto the city’s quays and accommodate traffic on the N25, which forms part of the North/South Strategic Corridor that runs from Belfast, via Dublin and Rosslare to Cork providing access to the key commercial seaports in the East and South.