Clare County Council in conjunction with Limerick City and County Council has commenced the planning process to advance the development of the Limerick Northern Distributor Road and associated infrastructure from a location in the vicinity of the Eastern end of the proposed Coonagh-Knockalisheen Strategic Route to a tie-in with the R445 (Old N7) in County Limerick.
The scheme will comprise the design and construction of approximately 10 kilometers of a northern distributor road that will include a crossing of the Ardnacrusha Tailrace and the River Shannon, together with possible crossings of the Blackwater and Mulkear Rivers.
Need for the scheme
The need for the scheme was identified in ‘The Limerick Planning, Land Use and Transportation Study’ for Greater Limerick prepared by Clare County Council, Tipperary North County Council and Limerick City and County Councils. The study identified many strategic issues that required consideration in the future planning of the region including the need for the provision of a northern distributor road around Limerick City and a new bridge crossing over the Shannon to the north of Limerick City.
The Fitzgerald Report ‘Addressing the issues of Social Exclusion in Moyross and other disadvantaged areas of Limerick City’ (April 2007) has recommended that a distributor road to the north of Limerick City be progressed to develop economic activity and end the isolation of this deprived area.
The various local and county development plans published by Clare County Council and Limerick City and County Councils make provision for the delivery of the proposed road scheme.
The proposed scheme will provide a northern distributor road around Limerick City, improving accessibility to the city from County Clare and relieving pressure on the existing river crossings in the City Centre. The road will provide significant improvement in connectivity between different areas along the northern fringe of the city, allowing people living in residential areas to the east of Limerick to access employment areas in the west of Limerick and vice versa.
The Limerick Northern Distributor Road will promote balanced regional development in Limerick County and South Clare. After delivery of the proposed road it is hoped that economic development will be encouraged as improved access attracts investment to the area.
The fundamental objective of the scheme is, therefore, to provide a transport link between the eastern and western fringes of Limerick City and a link to South County Clare to facilitate economic development in this region.