After many years of waiting, weary motorists, who regularly travel the road from Waterford to Kilkenny/Dublin, will get an early Christmas present when a new 31 kilometre stretch of carriageway, built at a cost of €1.5 billion, opens in December.

The new route will run from Dunkitt on the outskirts of Waterford city to Danesfort on the perimeter of Kilkenny city and, as a result, the villages of Mullinavat, Ballyhale and Knocktopher will be bypassed.

Apart from the safety aspect of not having to negotiate some of the worst primary route in the country, journey times should be cut considerably. Traffic, especially large trucks, will no longer have to travel under the two ‘blind’ bridges at Knockwilliam, Ballyhale, and Lukeswell, Mullinavat.

As well as that, the new, tolled bridge across the Suir, just north of Rice Bridge, will be open to traffic at the end of this month which should take a lot of ‘through traffic’ out of Waterford city centre, in particular the large juggernauts that come and go to Cork and the South West from the Port of Rosslare.

Waterford Chamber of Commerce hopes that the improved infrastructure and quicker access to Belview Port will encourage more companies to set up in the Waterford and general South East area.