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N4/N5: How should they be developed?

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 164 ✭✭ Stupido


    it is at route selection stage I think.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,013 leitrim lad


    so it will hardly start this year or next year,its badly needed,and so are the jobs it would create, i am open to be set right on the matter but ,is it true longford has the highest rate of umemployment per head of population in the country,and the longford town bypass ,around to the n5 is fcuked aswell


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,281 ✭✭✭ westtip


    Searched for an N5 thread and got nothing. The N4 after the N6 junction is not considered one of the inter-urbans - on the whole the N4 is not a bad national route - still some work needed on some sections which is planned but the Dromod Roosky DC has made a big difference and the Boyle by pass long in place has made the northern end of the N4 after Carrick a fairly easy drive, although it is wide SC with hard shoulder, rather than DC, and is a notorious speed trap- The Castlebaldwin - Collooney section still needs to be done as does the road in County Longford. On the whole though the N4 has improved immensely.

    However the N5 remains a nightmare. With still no Longford bypass and lets face it a pretty grim road all the way through Roscommon and East Mayo.

    I had recent correspondence with Fred Barry at the NRA about an alternative way of developing the N4/N5 road.

    Simple idea really. I suggested this to the NRA: Look at a map and draw a straight line from Frenchpark to Carrick on Shannon - my suggestion to the NRA was to continue the N5 on this alignment and connect with the N4 at Carrick.

    It is a distance of about 22km.

    Why - well to simply develop the N4 and N5 in parallel through Roscommon is a waste of money - the new DC around Dromod Roosky is capable of taking 3 times the capacity it is taking on the N4. Upgrading the N5 from Frenchpark to Scramoge a distance of 35 km will pass through considerable archaeology issues around Tulsk, and the N5 Longford bypass to connect with the N4 has not been started, so why not connect the N4 and N5 further north from Longford Town, and simply scrap the 35 km N5 Scramoge - Frenchpark section and indeed the N5 Longford bypass (they are not needed if this new alignment for the N5 is used)

    I was quite astonished what Fred Barry CEO of the NRA had to say (very positive really)

    "You will be pleased to know that we have already been considering the possibility of improving the N4-N5 connection from near Frenchpark to Carrick on Shannon as an alternative to improving the N5 between Frenchpark and Scramoge, should the archaelogical issues on the N5 prove insurmountable"The letter goes on:

    "No decision will be made on this for some time, as the Carrick on Shannon and Ballaghadarreen Bypasses will be built before either the alternatives mentioned above"

    I don't know if this thinking has been in the public domain before - I think it makes emminent sense and can't think why the NRA just don't say in public this is what we recommend and get on with it. If they are thinking along these lines I cannot see the Longford N5 bypass being built either.

    The alternative route would save on the amount of road pavement that needs laying potentially and also save the need for an N61 southern bypass of Boyle to connect with the N4, look at a map and you will see my reasoning, especially if the N5 link road connected with the N4 around Loch Key Forest Park area.

    Personally I think it would make much better use of the improved N4 (ie make the N4 DC all the way to Carrick) and improve traffic flows to and from the West and North West - Anyway food for thought for any N5 and indeed N4 users.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,095 ✭✭✭ nordydan


    This has been suggested by a few posters, including myself. In total agreement, it makes sense to upgrade the N4 to at least 2+2 standard up to this point, to make proper use of the Mullingar-Roosky scheme.

    In the meantime an S2 bypass of Longford would still be required and not made redundant by any of this (and ideally extended to the N63).


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,889 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    What's the R370 like today? Any use or in bits?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,281 ✭✭✭ westtip


    nordydan wrote: »
    This has been suggested by a few posters, including myself. In total agreement, it makes sense to upgrade the N4 to at least 2+2 standard up to this point, to make proper use of the Mullingar-Roosky scheme.

    In the meantime an S2 bypass of Longford would still be required and not made redundant by any of this (and ideally extended to the N63).

    Nordy I thought it had been suggested somewhere in past but thought the letter from Fred Barry was worth raising the subject again as a new thread. Of course the whole thing is conjecture in the current climate.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    That would mean no Longford N5 bypass ( but a bendy little relief road jobbie instead) and that the crap stretch from Scramogue to Frenchpark via Strokestown remains as is .

    They will love ya in Longford :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,364 ✭✭✭✭ road_high


    I have to say looking at this it makes total sense. The distances look to add very little glancing at the map. And no big towns left out of the loop.
    I'd still give Longford it's bypass though.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    'A bypass' Mfitzy , maybe not the one they have so far planned and with all junctions at grade . Enfieldisation .


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,464 ✭✭✭ munchkin_utd


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    'A bypass' Mfitzy , maybe not the one they have so far planned and with all junctions at grade . Enfieldisation .
    indeed, its more of a relief road than anything.
    http://www.longfordcoco.ie/uploadedFiles/LongfordCoCo/Our_Departments/Roads/Documents/N5_Longford_Bypass/N5Drawing.pdf

    Pity it couldnt have been continued the couple of 100 yards to the N63 Galway/ Roscommon road (although a bohereen is there that'll do the job I presume!).


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,281 ✭✭✭ westtip


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    That would mean no Longford N5 bypass ( but a bendy little relief road jobbie instead) and that the crap stretch from Scramogue to Frenchpark via Strokestown remains as is .

    They will love ya in Longford :D

    Sponge - they won't do the crap stretch you refer to if they can't cos of the archaeology at Tulsk which is a big issue...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 254 ✭✭ The Word Is Bor


    indeed, its more of a relief road than anything.
    http://www.longfordcoco.ie/uploadedFiles/LongfordCoCo/Our_Departments/Roads/Documents/N5_Longford_Bypass/N5Drawing.pdf

    Pity it couldnt have been continued the couple of 100 yards to the N63 Galway/ Roscommon road (although a bohereen is there that'll do the job I presume!).

    The bohereen is not suitable. However about about 200m further on towards Longford town there is a roundabout which has a link road (through Flancare's site) off it which connects onto the N63.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    westtip wrote: »
    Sponge - they won't do the crap stretch you refer to if they can't cos of the archaeology at Tulsk which is a big issue...

    Have you any links to help us understand the scale of this Tulsk 'archaeological issue' . Is there a song about it on the lines of 'there's a lot of ruins in Mesopotamia' or am I thinking of the wrong tune there ...hmmmm

    Obviously you and Fred can have a knowledgeable natter on it from time to time but I am not up to speed , soz :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,091 ✭✭✭ marmurr1916


    An excellent idea which would avoid major road works near Rathcroghan, one of Ireland's most significant archaeological and historical sites.

    If the N5 split from the N4 at Carrick-on-Shannon, a new route, roughly following the current alignment of the R370 from Carrick to Frenchpark, could be built.

    Alternatively, the N5 could split from the N4 near Boyle, with a new route roughly following the current alignment of the R361 between Boyle and Frenchpark.

    The current N5 between Longford and Frenchpark is ca. 51km long.

    Carrick to Frenchpark is about 22km, Boyle to Frenchpark is about 16km.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,091 ✭✭✭ marmurr1916


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    Have you any links to help us understand the scale of this Tulsk 'archaeological issue' . Is there a song about it on the lines of 'there's a lot of ruins in Mesopotamia' or am I thinking of the wrong tune there ...hmmmm

    Obviously you and Fred can have a knowledgeable natter on it from time to time but I am not up to speed , soz :D

    This should help give you an idea of how important it is. Basically it's Connacht's equivalent of Tara:
    Rathcroghan is a complex of archaeological sites near Tulsk in County Roscommon, Ireland. It is identified as the site of Cruachan, the traditional capital of the Connachta. While it is debatable whether this was a place of residence, it had huge importance as a cemetery and also hosted some of the main ritual gatherings in ancient times. It is an important site in Irish mythology, in particular as the seat of Ailill and Medb, king and queen of the Connachta in the Ulster Cycle. It is the setting for the opening section of the Táin Bó Cúailnge.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rathcroghan

    http://www.cruachanai.com/


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    Righty ho. I take it the N61 is not on top of any urgent 'to be done' list either .


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,281 ✭✭✭ westtip


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    Righty ho. I take it the N61 is not on top of any urgent 'to be done' list either .

    The N61 needs some pretty awful bends taken out of it between Tulsk and Boyle - and needs some elements of widening and realignment - if you drive it on regular basis the stretch north of the N61/N5 crossroads (ie at Tulsk) is a straight as a roman road for about two miles and could probably be left untouched without major calamity and therefore not upsetting the heritage crowd. Between Roscommon Town and Tulsk it is open to widening but it is not a route which needs DC. Quite a lot of the road on this stretch has very wide verges between existing boundary walls and the edge of the road - my guess is a lot of the land needed for widening is already owned by RCC.
    Re the N61 - if the idea of making this N4- N5 connector slightly north of Carrick say from Frenchpark to Loch Key Forest Park it could be used by N61 traffic to avoid Boyle town centre, it would be another project which is scheduled being incorporated into this solution.
    Sponge Bob wrote: »

    They will love ya in Longford :D

    Sponge My idea was not to gain polularity in the town of Longford or in Roscommon county! - I just see it as a more practical solution for the N4/N5 - and clearly one which the NRA was already considering, it would mean less road pavement being laid - it would provide a solution for traffic to the West and it would make more efficient use of the upgraded N4. You see this is one of the problems when infrastructure planning is left in the hands of local politicians - I could never imagine a south roscommon councillor proposing such an idea nor a Longford town councillor - but you see Parish Pump Politicians are not - as I have said before to be really trusted with matters of national planning!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,212 Delta Kilo


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    Have you any links to help us understand the scale of this Tulsk 'archaeological issue' .

    I think this area here may be the problem sponge bob

    tulsk.png

    I know this place well, there is a prominent ring fort very close to the road and on the other side there is a school which is sitting on the road, at a bend. There is even a special speed limit there at certain times of the day. You would have trouble trying to realign it, let alone add lanes to it!


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,065 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    The NRA's plans for the N4 appear to be to dual it all the way, whatever is required - between the Mullingar->Longford scheme, the Carrick bypass and the Castlebaldwin bypass there'd just be a WS2/WS2+C gap of about 20km which I've heard mutterings about an online upgrade to 2+2 for. Virtually all of it is 1990s built offline of the old route so theres little impeding an overlay.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,306 ✭✭✭ serfboard


    Excellent idea, westtip . I like this one though ...
    Alternatively, the N5 could split from the N4 near Boyle, with a new route roughly following the current alignment of the R361 between Boyle and Frenchpark.

    ... and I'd modify it slightly and have it turn off at Kingsland and hook up with the Ballaghadereen bypass. Which is going to be built first anyway. That way you don't have to build a Frenchpark bypass either.

    The great thing about this is that you could definitely justify 2+2 for the N4 in the long run and save money in maintaining 2 national roads. The old N5 (Ballaghadereen->Longford) could then be downgraded to R road.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    That monument map is pretty extensive and that is only what they know so far.

    It would mean 2+2 from Mullingar to around Carrick, the N61 over the mountain south of Boyle is bloody dire , should be retired permanently north of Ratallen and diverted over to Carrick on Shannon , too expensive to divert to Boyle and Boyle is too far north .

    I make it that a shot off the end of the Ballaghadereen Bypass to the N4 a few km se of Boyle is around 19km but runs into a hilly section south of Boyle.

    Carrying the Ballaghadereen Bypass on towards north of Frenchpark and heading NE for Carrick on Shannon is flatter terrain despite being c.27 km long ( 22 from Frenchpark itself ) .

    However Carrick to near Boyle would be 9 km itself so both choices are pretty much equal bar those hills and any deep bog anybody cares to mention .

    Incidentally the emerging preferred route for Carrick on Shannon to be announced this month or next from these ones shown below and will include a 2+2 retrofit around that MDF factory .

    http://www.leitrimcoco.ie/eng/Services_A-Z/Roads/National_Primary_Roads/CorridorMap.pdf

    These guys are in charge of the design

    www.roughanodonovan.com


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,065 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    and will include a 2+2 retrofit around that MDF factory .

    Seeing as that section (Jamestown Drumsna bypass) is *grade seperated* WS2 it makes perfect sense to retrofit it rather than acquiring another corridor.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,281 ✭✭✭ westtip


    that monument map is quite astonishing - i was just aware that it was a particuarly rich area for monuments and remains etc - maybe the preserving archaeology brigade will this time lead to a better solution - because the NRA will clearly have to find one, and judging by the letter they sent me they pretty much know this is the case.

    Yes Serf I would be an advocate to the N5 slightly swinging north to connect with the N4 slightly north of Carrick (to also give boyle its N61 southern bypass), crossing the N61 say about three miles south of Boyle, traffic then going say Sligo - Roscommon - Athlone ont he N61 would avoid Boyle (ok maybe a couple of miles longer but better seamless road).

    In the long run i think this option would actually cost less than developing both the N4 and N5 in parallel with each other and of course save on the proposed N61 southern bypass of Boyle.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20 ✭✭✭ 09bored.ie


    As far as I can remember ABP refused the first proposed M7/ M8 Schemes in Laois and basically told them go back and redesign except this time avoid the duplication and use the same road for as long as possible.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann


    The map pictured above looks like the remains of an ancient town.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,281 ✭✭✭ westtip


    An excellent idea which would avoid major road works near Rathcroghan, one of Ireland's most significant archaeological and historical sites.

    If the N5 split from the N4 at Carrick-on-Shannon, a new route, roughly following the current alignment of the R370 from Carrick to Frenchpark, could be built.

    Alternatively, the N5 could split from the N4 near Boyle, with a new route roughly following the current alignment of the R361 between Boyle and Frenchpark.

    The current N5 between Longford and Frenchpark is ca. 51km long.

    Carrick to Frenchpark is about 22km, Boyle to Frenchpark is about 16km.


    Marmurr - interesting idea although I think the alignment of R370 would be too radical a swing north for the N5; I am increasingly thinking a preferred route for this plan would be from the end of the Ballaghdereen bypass to a mid point between Boyle and Carrick, probably going north of Cavetown Lough. The more I look at that ancient monuments map around Tulsk the more convinced I am that the current N5 alignment has absolutely no chance of being upgraded and it will be very difficult to find a suitable alignment through that maze of archaeology - and actually why should we go through all this ancient stuff when there is a possibly cheaper and more efficient alternative. I think the save the ringforts rent a mob - who will get involved - may have dealt the NRA a trump card to play on this occassion,and for the NRA to say in the interests of national heritage we have made the decision to re-route the N5 etc.....

    Perhaps the solution for the Tulsk area is to really make something of all this archaeology as a tourist attraction and pull visitors to the place for what it has to offer - an area of outstanding historical signifigance, and not because it has notoriety for a new road bashing through ancient sites....There seemingly is a third way on this one.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,212 Delta Kilo


    I should have added that the map above is just in between Tulsk and Bellinagare, Tulsk is on the bottom right just outside the map.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,281 ✭✭✭ westtip


    The green line tho is the N5?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,091 ✭✭✭ marmurr1916


    westtip wrote: »
    The green line tho is the N5?

    Yes, the existing N5.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,281 ✭✭✭ westtip


    of course it is! thanks, yes it is very interesting just how diverse and spread out over a significant area those ancient remains are - I think I will get back on to my mate Fred at the NRA about this one - I know this project is a loooong way off - but all of these projects take so long to plan and map out that why bother going down a road (sorry for the pun folks) that they know is going to be fraught with problems when another solution which they know about is already there on a plate for them - me thinks this is their thinking in any case but the politics of the decision are probably the real issue. Hey ho we do what we can as mere mortals and citizens but do they ever listen.


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