Wexford County Council wishes to announce the appointment of technical advisors to assist with the development of the N11/N25 Oilgate to Rosslare Harbour scheme through feasibility, option selection, design, economic appraisal and planning. The project has been allocated €800,000 funding this year, and the contract appointing engineering consultants, Mott MacDonald Ireland Limited, was signed in the Council chamber on Thursday 16 May.
Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council, Councillor Keith Doyle, welcomed the announcement of the advancement of this major road scheme which will complete the motorway connection to Rosslare Europort.
The scheme consists of a 33km section of key strategic transport corridor linking Rosslare Europort/Wexford with both Dublin via the M11, and Cork/ Waterford via the N25. The N11 and N25 form part of the European Designated E01 Route from Larne to Rosslare Europort. This route provides a direct strategic link between mainland Europe and the island of Ireland, which will become of increasing strategic importance in the context of current Brexit negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom. Upon the opening of the M11 Gorey to Enniscorthy motorway scheme in the coming months, the section of road corridor in question will be the only section of the 375km Euroroute E01 from Larne to Rosslare not operating to high quality dual carriageway/motorway standard. The project is consistent with the objectives of the National Planning Framework – Project Ireland 2040, and the National Development Plan 2018-2027, and its development is a stated objective of the current Wexford County Development Plan. A 300m wide planning corridor is currently in place for the scheme following the publication of a Route Selection Report in 2011.
Tom Enright, Chief Executive, Wexford County Council, stated that the appointment of consultants marks a major milestone in the delivery of this very important project for County Wexford.
Over the coming 12 months it is proposed to undertake various studies and it is anticipated that an initial public information and consultation exercise will proceed towards the end of 2019, with further consultation processes in 2020.
The Council is conscious that local residents and communities would like greater certainty with regard to the final defined route of the road and timelines for planning and construction. Following the anticipated final confirmation of the route corridor in 2020, a defined route will then be developed through design and environmental assessment during 2021. It is anticipated the scheme will then be submitted to An Bord Pleanála for statutory planning approval (Compulsory Purchase Order and Environmental Impact Assessment) in 2022 and proceed through the planning processes by the end of 2022. The scheme is still at an early stage of development, and it is not therefore possible at this time to indicate a likely timeframe for construction of the project which will be dependent upon the outcome of the statutory planning approval process and the securing of the necessary funding. However this contract signing is a significant step forward in the delivery of this vital infrastructural project.