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M55/M62/M52 'Midlands Corridor' proposal

  • 11-07-2010 4:51am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,161 Ren2k7


    I spend a good bit of time travelling along this route between Cavan town and Ballymahon and find it to be incredibly treacherous. Does anyone else travel this route and if so what do they think of it and is there any planned (or on hold) upgrades due, such as bypasses of Ballinagh, Granard and Edgeworthstown?


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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 611 T Corolla


    I agree there are sections between Athlone and Edgeworthtown very poor.
    I cannot see much money coming its way in the current economic climate.
    Unless there is an increase in population between Athlone and Cavan there is a poor case for any investment in the road. I have travelled the section from Edgeworthtown to Cavan and there are a few good sections but a few pretty poor sections that with a little money could be improved alot and save lives
    For a road that carries alot of vehicles daily it is in need of upgrading
    Similarly the N52 is in poor state of repair from Nenagh to Tullamore and north of Mullingar is to say the least a disgrace. I read recently that by 2012 the section between Delvin and Mullingar will be completed. North of Delvin is a dead duck as future investment with go on the road to Navan(N51) as this would connect the larger towns of Navan-Mullingar with a new single carriage road and giving a new road east to west. The journey time from The midlands to the north of Ireland could be reduced by the upgrading of this road.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 10,028 -Corkie-


    I am afraid there wasnt even plans to upgrade this route before the cutbacks. Its a pity as its such a busy road. I havent used it beyond athlone-ballymahon in a few years but the granard to cavan road is dangerous..


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,161 Ren2k7


    I think the creation of a 'Midlands Corridor' should be looked at once the current road building scheme is finished. It would comprise of dual carriageway along the route of the N55 to Athlone and then on the N62 from Athlone to Thurles and the M8.

    Below is a mock up of the route.

    MidlandsCorridor.png

    I think it would provide a vital link between the border areas and the south of Ireland allowing people to get between the two regions quickly without having to go by Dublin or (when it opens) the Atlantic Corridor. It would also provide an effective link up with the N3/M3, N4/M4, M6, the soon to be completed M7 and M8 routes.

    This along with the Eastern Corridor (compromising the M1 and M11) and the Atlantic Corridor would provide Ireland with a mesh motorway transport system, rather than the current Dublin-centric radial motorway network, so virtually all parts of the country would be accessbile easily and quickly and more importantly safely.


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


    Ren2k7 wrote: »
    I think the creation of a 'Midlands Corridor' should be looked at once the current road building scheme is finished. It would comprise of dual carriageway along the route of the N55 to Athlone and then on the N62 from Athlone to Thurles and the M8.

    Below is a mock up of the route.

    MidlandsCorridor.png

    I think it would provide a vital link between the border areas and the south of Ireland allowing people to get between the two regions quickly without having to go by Dublin or (when it opens) the Atlantic Corridor. It would also provide an effective link up with the N3/M3, N4/M4, M6, the soon to be completed M7 and M8 routes.

    This along with the Eastern Corridor (compromising the M1 and M11) and the Atlantic Corridor would provide Ireland with a mesh motorway transport system, rather than the current Dublin-centric radial motorway network, so virtually all parts of the country would be accessbile easily and quickly and more importantly safely.

    I basically agree with this in principle. The Atlantic Corridor, a Midlands Corridor and the LOR do provide perfect connectivity between almost all areas of the island, and, most importantly, all three would eliminate the need for many motorists to use crap and treacherous national secondary routes and R-roads, such as the N62 for example. A reduced dual carriageway (like N4 Dromod-Roosky) would be ideal for a Midlands corridor. The major benefits would be firstly improved safety; secondly, a reduced need to upgrade parts of archaic national secondary routes; third, you really get to make the most out of the motorway network. It is pie in the sky stuff at present though, and there are other far more important things to get done first: public transport in Dublin (interconnector and Metro N), the M20, Galway Bypass, Cork SRR and Dunkettle revamp, M11 gap, etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,161 Ren2k7


    Furet wrote: »
    there are other far more important things to get done first: public transport in Dublin (interconnector and Metro N), the M20, Galway Bypass, Cork SRR and Dunkettle revamp, M11 gap, etc.

    Absolutlely agree. If the government had approved everyones pet project we'd be bankrupt long ago.:eek: But yeah, for me the metro and IC are probably the most important infrastructure projects that need to get a move on. Standing on a Luas with someones armpit in my face from Connolly to Heuston is NOT a pleasant experience :mad:.

    And then once Transport 21 is finished maybe the new Fine Gael, Labour, Monster Raving Looney Party Coalition can get on with the Midlands Corridor. :pac:


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,852 ✭✭✭ SeanW


    The N55 immediately North of Athlone is in dire need of some attention. Between the 90o hairpin bend in the 'town' of Ballykeeran, and the silly changes in altitude surrounding the village, particularly the 1-in-4 incline just beyond it.

    The road could be realigned along a kind of ridge that exists to the North-East of the village.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 624 Aidan1


    As a long term prospect, it has merit, particularly as it would link the Motorway Network down the middle of the country, facilitating access.

    However the changing population geography of the country is going to make any project that doesn't actually go to a city difficult to justify when there are going to be real challenges building infrastructure that has a much clearer case associated with it. The M7/8-M4 link is a relatively easy sell - the bit north of that is a different matter entirely.


  • Registered Users Posts: 622 ✭✭✭ Jayuu


    Ren2k7 wrote: »
    I think the creation of a 'Midlands Corridor' should be looked at once the current road building scheme is finished. It would comprise of dual carriageway along the route of the N55 to Athlone and then on the N62 from Athlone to Thurles and the M8.

    Below is a mock up of the route.

    MidlandsCorridor.png

    I think it would provide a vital link between the border areas and the south of Ireland allowing people to get between the two regions quickly without having to go by Dublin or (when it opens) the Atlantic Corridor. It would also provide an effective link up with the N3/M3, N4/M4, M6, the soon to be completed M7 and M8 routes.

    This along with the Eastern Corridor (compromising the M1 and M11) and the Atlantic Corridor would provide Ireland with a mesh motorway transport system, rather than the current Dublin-centric radial motorway network, so virtually all parts of the country would be accessbile easily and quickly and more importantly safely.

    I think if we were to develop something like this it would be better to use the N52 route from Dundalk to Nenagh as this would be a more cross country route from north-east to south-west and would link a lot of the existing motorway network - M1, M3, M6, M7 and potentially the M4 as well if it was ever expanded. I actually think something like this would be better than the DOOR/LOOR route that has been suggested.

    It would also be no harm if we also looked at a north-west to south-east cross country route as well (potentially along the N61/N80 routes) although I suppose that is what the Atlantic Corridoor was supposed to address.

    Not that any of these routes are likely to built in the near future! :(


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 60,584 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    Aidan1 wrote: »
    Last edited by Aidan1; Yesterday at 16:18. Reason: It's still the M4 at Kilbeggan ...


    M6 at Kilbeggan ;)

    M4 to Kinnegad, which is what you might have meant?


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


    If they finish Mullingar to Tullamore to modern standards ( including the M6 section) we will be lucky. If they extend that to the M3 from Mullingar it will be a miracle.

    The more westerly route has no chance this side of 2030.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 624 Aidan1


    M4 to Kinnegad, which is what you might have meant?

    Ahem. Maybe.
    :o


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 611 T Corolla


    The idea of a motorway down the middle of the country is a bit far fetched. The roads from the north east to south west are poor but they need to be brought up to the standard of single lane carriageway. I travelled most of those routes and you will meet a car at an average of every 3 miles of the road. I travelled to Enniskillen last year(peak time) and there were some cars on the road. I also used to travel the N52 regularly at peak times also and also meet a car every 3 miles. There is no case for a motorway just a decent single lane carriageway. The same should be said for the northwest to south east as the N61 is quite bad road in alot of places.


  • Registered Users Posts: 622 ✭✭✭ Jayuu


    T Corolla wrote: »
    The idea of a motorway down the middle of the country is a bit far fetched. The roads from the north east to south west are poor but they need to be brought up to the standard of single lane carriageway. I travelled most of those routes and you will meet a car at an average of every 3 miles of the road. I travelled to Enniskillen last year(peak time) and there were some cars on the road. I also used to travel the N52 regularly at peak times also and also meet a car every 3 miles. There is no case for a motorway just a decent single lane carriageway. The same should be said for the northwest to south east as the N61 is quite bad road in alot of places.

    I don't think anybody is seriously proposing them but we could do with improvements in cross-country roads to create alternative travel routes.

    I know the NRA seem to have dropped the 2+1 idea but I think we could do with that so that there were designated overtaking lanes on roads like the N52/N61/N80. Upgrading to 2+1 would be better than single lane as it would reduce the chances of head-on collisions and surely wouldn't cost a lot more. And it would make those road a lot more appealing to use.

    Have to say that you're lucky if that's your regular experience with these roads. The last time I drove the N52 (which was a couple of years ago) I got stuck behind a succession of tractors, lorries and van. It was one of the most frustrating drives I've ever done. I don't think I do over 45mph on any sort of a regular basis. Maybe I was just unlucky. :eek:


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 60,584 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    2+1's are seen as more dangerous than WS2 by the NRA Jayuu. People reach extreme speeds in the 2 sections to pass as many vehicles as possible, misjudge gaps and misjudge the distance till the second lane ends, and so on.

    There's even a concerted campaign to get the Piltown bypass converted to a standard WS2 by locals due to the surprisingly high amount of deaths on it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 10,028 -Corkie-


    MYOB wrote: »
    2+1's are seen as more dangerous than WS2 by the NRA Jayuu. People reach extreme speeds in the 2 sections to pass as many vehicles as possible, misjudge gaps and misjudge the distance till the second lane ends, and so on.

    There's even a concerted campaign to get the Piltown bypass converted to a standard WS2 by locals due to the surprisingly high amount of deaths on it.

    Agreed. The system from Rathduff to Mallow on the N20 is a pure disaster. There do be cars pinned to the barrier all the time.:rolleyes:

    I agree with T corolla also. A motorway is not needed but a good main road like the old N8 from Cahir to Mitchelstown. The road would ideally go from Nenagh(M7) to athlone and on to Cavan to met the M3.


  • Registered Users Posts: 622 ✭✭✭ Jayuu


    MYOB wrote: »
    2+1's are seen as more dangerous than WS2 by the NRA Jayuu. People reach extreme speeds in the 2 sections to pass as many vehicles as possible, misjudge gaps and misjudge the distance till the second lane ends, and so on.

    There's even a concerted campaign to get the Piltown bypass converted to a standard WS2 by locals due to the surprisingly high amount of deaths on it.

    Fair enough. I've driven the Piltown bypass on many occassions and I'm not a fan of it either but I always assumed that this was because it was one of the first built and that it was a test bed for other schemes. A refinements could improve it. I wasn't aware that there had been many deaths on it.

    What I find wrong with Piltown is that the central median wire is not clearly visible especially when conditions are poor so at times you're very unsure about your road position in the outside lane. Also the LILO junctions onto the road seem to come very far out into the road making the mainline seem quite narrow especially when you are on the single carriageway. They also require quite sharp turns and have very little merge room. The changes back from 2 to 1 lane are also not that well signalled.

    I wonder though is this like any new form of infrastructure a case of people learning to adjust. 2+1 roads seem to be used in other countries without causing major incident. I would have though that because of the central median it would be better to use these instead of WS2 to avoid the risk of head-on collision. But I'm not looking for an argument. Clearly the NRA have made their minds up on this.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 611 T Corolla


    Jayuu wrote: »
    I don't think anybody is seriously proposing them but we could do with improvements in cross-country roads to create alternative travel routes.

    I know the NRA seem to have dropped the 2+1 idea but I think we could do with that so that there were designated overtaking lanes on roads like the N52/N61/N80. Upgrading to 2+1 would be better than single lane as it would reduce the chances of head-on collisions and surely wouldn't cost a lot more. And it would make those road a lot more appealing to use.

    Have to say that you're lucky if that's your regular experience with these roads. The last time I drove the N52 (which was a couple of years ago) I got stuck behind a succession of tractors, lorries and van. It was one of the most frustrating drives I've ever done. I don't think I do over 45mph on any sort of a regular basis. Maybe I was just unlucky. :eek:

    No you were not unlucky. I worked in construction site in Dundalk for six months and in order to make the 8am start I had to leave Mullingar at 6:30am each day. In the winter time I rented in Dundalk as the road was much to dangerous to travel. The problem I see is that to bring even the stretch from Mullingar to Delvin up to a decent standard single lane would require purchasing either new land or buying out residence in a number of cases so its not going to be cheap. The case to do up the road will be based on North-South economic recovery and with the Government putting their weight behind an export led recovery the case for improvements should become more apparent. The same can go for the N55 road North-South recovery in the economy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,161 Ren2k7


    TBH, I think the NRA were correct on dropping the concept of a 2+1 road. Incidentally, there's a short section of this type of road on the N55 outside of Cavan but is used by the usual assorted bunch of lunatics overtaking half a dozen cars at a time before running out of a second lane. The NRA also determined that it didn't cost that much extra to build to 2+2 standard in the first place instead of 2+1 so that was probably the main reason for it being binned as a road type here.

    A more sensible solution would be to build it to 2+2 standard with at grade junctions, similar to The Downs scheme outside Mullingar on the N4. When traffic volumes dictate then it could be upgraded to HQDC but probably not for many years. The traffic volumes as well as the dangerous nature of this route would warrant an upgrade.

    Perhaps after T21 and once the public finances have recovered sufficiently the gov could look at creating a national expressway network along the routes of the National Secondaries (N51, 52, 55, 80, etc) linking the motorways to each other. Motorways for the National Primaries and 2+2 (Expressways) for the National Secondaries but this need not be set in stone.

    In the meantime I'd be satisfied with the N55 being realigned in places to allow to allow for overtaking as well as some bypasses of towns.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 611 T Corolla


    In the meantime I'd be satisfied with the N55 being realigned in places to allow to allow for overtaking as well as some bypasses of towns.[/QUOTE]

    So would the majority. There must be some money in the public coffers to do minor road alteration. How about getting some of the developers who have not sold their machairny off and are under NAMA. There must be plenty of plant to help aid road constructions complete minor work. The builder must provide the machine and the state pays wages and running costs of the plant. This is a small thing that could be considered that would take a number of people of the unemployment register and they would have plenty of work to keep them going


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,090 ✭✭✭ marmurr1916


    There are several, key National Secondary routes that, if improved when finances permit, would bring great benefits in terms of inter-regional connections.

    The N52, N61, N62, N77 and the N80 all spring to mind.

    I don't see any of these routes being brought up to mainly 2+2 standard for many years to come - the money's not there right now and there are too many National Primary schemes yet to be done.

    However, they should be prioritised when the National Primaries are completed.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,447 ✭✭✭ munchkin_utd


    theres an interesting survey of Irish road safety, i.e. dangerous roads, on the EuroRAP site.

    the N55 is (was?) one of the worst and most dangerous roads in the country.
    Heres the risks on various sections:
    N55	R394 junction to Edgesworthstown	1998-2002	High
    N55	Edgeworthstown to Ballymahon            1998-2002	Medium-high
    N55	Cavan town to R394 junction	        1998-2002	Medium-high
    N55	Ballymahon to Athlone	                1998-2002	Low-medium
    

    to be fair, some of the very worst sections north of Granard have already been realigned/ improved.
    Its much much better than 10 years ago. A quantam improvement (even just the barriers to stop you from going off the 6 foot drop off the road at places was great! You would always have seen cars sitting in the fields before)
    And its probably due to the quantification of just how bad the road is through the collated accident figures by EuroRAP

    Looking at immediate planned improvements, the NRA has money allocated and in the bank for improving a section south of the freshly realigned section near Ballinagh.
    Due to a dispute over land prices, it looks like being abandoned unless the councilors can pull a last minute agreement!! (which you might hope is possible seeing as one of them lives only a minute away from the section in question)
    http://www.anglocelt.ie/news/roundup/articles/2010/06/16/3997911-councillors-unhappy-over-land-acquisition-difficulties

    edit, heres a nice picture of a place near Killadoon/ Mullahoran pitch which hasnt yet gotten barriers!
    1242397122.jpg
    from http://www.anglocelt.ie/news/roundup/articles/2009/05/15/39555-woman-run-off-road-appeals-for-witnesses/


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,161 Ren2k7


    edit, heres a nice picture of a place near Killadoon/ Mullahoran pitch which hasnt yet gotten barriers!
    1242397122.jpg
    from http://www.anglocelt.ie/news/roundup/articles/2009/05/15/39555-woman-run-off-road-appeals-for-witnesses/

    Think I remember passing that van at that spot last year all right. And it wasn't the only vehicle to have rolled off the road at that part of the route. The council should definately widen and place crash barriers on that particular stretch of road.

    It's unfortunate about the proposed reallignment of the route south of Ballinagh but I guess the use of the money for the N87 also in Cavan is to be welcomed. In this era of financial uncertainty, all councils are going to be fighting tooth and nail for every scrap of road funding from the NRA resulting in a lot of road improvement schemes scrapped or suspended indefinately.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,447 ✭✭✭ munchkin_utd


    just for posterity, heres an idea of the cash spent on making the N55 slightly better in the past few years on the Cavan section alone (from cavan county council yearly reports published on their website)

    As I hinted before, the road really is in much better nick than 10 years ago through the drip effect of improvements over the years.
    You can see a pattern of small projects like improving the surface, improving safety through better markings and then major projects like Ballinagh town improvement, the bigger realignment and the megabucks N55 part of the Cavan bypass.

    2008
    Cavan By Pass Stage 2 received funding of up to E3,500,000 to allow completion of any outstanding works.
    The Road Design Section is finalising the design of the N55 Corduff to Ballytrust section.
    An allocation of E90,000 was allocated to cover final costs on Killydoon and Ballinagh Bridge Widening.
    Improvement works on the N55 Ballinagh Junction and Main Street Rehabilitation was carried out in 2008 at a cost of E601,000.

    2007
    An allocation of e220,000 was received for the Killydoon and Ballinagh Bridge Widening.
    The Contract for the Construction of the Ballinagh Footbridge on the N55 was awarded in September 2007. It is envisaged that construction will be completed before the end of 2007.

    2006
    Major Realignment & Pavement Overlay Works were carried out on 1km of the N55 at Corduff at a cost of approximately €1.65m.
    Work on the widening of Thomascourt Bridge on the N55 was also completed.

    2005
    During 2005 the following major pavement improvement works were undertaken on national roads:
    N55 Dundevan 1.1km €650,000
    N55 Garrymore/Corduff * 0.9km €849,000
    Construction work has continued on the Cavan By Pass Stage II – N55 link a sum of €7.5m was expended during 2005 on construction works and land acquisition.

    2004
    Construction work has commenced on the Cavan By Pass Stage II – N3 to N55 link. A sum of €3.3million was expended during 2004 on construction works and land acquisition.

    N55 Dundevan 1.1km 0.60m
    N55 Garrymore/Corduff * 0.9km 0.92m

    2003
    During 2003 the following major pavement improvement works were
    undertaken on national roads:
    N55 Clarebane 1.6 0.66m
    N55 Cashel Cross 1.2 0.55m
    N55 Ballytrust 0.5 0.53m

    In addition the above works the N55 (Cavan-Ballinagh-Granard) and N87 (Belturbet-Ballyconnell-Swanlinbar) have been delineated with road markings and reflectors.

    Cavan By Pass Stage II – N3 to N55 link and a sum of e2.5m was received during 2003 to facilitate land acquisition.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 611 T Corolla


    The N55 is closing for 11 days from the 11 October between Granard to Ballynea. I hope they will be taking the couple of bad bends out of it.


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


    T Corolla wrote: »
    The N55 is closing for 11 days from the 11 October between Granard to Ballynea.
    Dempsey 'released' a load of funds in the past fortnight hoping the councils would not have time to spend it, same with Coughlan who approved around 40 prefabs with installation to complete by December.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 611 T Corolla


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    Dempsey 'released' a load of funds in the past fortnight hoping the councils would not have time to spend it, same with Coughlan who approved around 40 prefabs with installation to complete by December.


    Prefabs when construction costs have dropped and tender costs have been reduced by 30% in some cases. If funds are released now does this mean that the money will be available next year.


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


    T Corolla wrote: »
    Prefabs when construction costs have dropped and tender costs have been reduced by 30% in some cases. If funds are released now does this mean that the money will be available next year.

    No , it means that FFers get to "announce" that they have done work to get funds and "thank" their ministers . The funds then go back to the exchequer in December when they cannot be spent because time is too short. Same with roads. How are you supposed to complete a potentially complex project if you only get the money on 1 October and you gotta tender, approve, build and complete by the middle of december ????

    Nothing gets built, or very little, and they then release the exact same funds late next year....maybe. People forget the promises and BS by then.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,447 ✭✭✭ munchkin_utd


    T Corolla wrote: »
    The N55 is closing for 11 days from the 11 October between Granard to Ballynea.
    I hope they will be taking the couple of bad bends out of it.
    well.....
    speaking of bad bends
    Of the Athlone-->Belfast N55/N54/A3 Road some of the worst bends are just there north of Butlersbridge.
    Maybe not for long!
    Road Closed:
    N54 Butlersbridge to Clones road from Monday, 25 October to Friday, 29 October 2010 a 24 hour closure for the purpose of Road Improvement Works from Kilnaglare Lower to Corrarod.

    Kilnaglare Bends (Streetview)

    EDIT: note the lovley modest house being built if you swivel the streetview into the adjoining field! Welcome to cavan, where cowboys can build their ranches!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,865 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    T Corolla wrote: »
    So would the majority. There must be some money in the public coffers to do minor road alteration.
    We are borrowing 20bn a year at present. Not only is there no money in the coffers, unless we get the defecit under control (ie, moderate social welfare, public sector pay, capital spending and increase taxes where possible) we will not recover for many decades, if at all.

    I'm not sure people realise just how bad our defecit is.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 611 T Corolla


    murphaph wrote: »
    We are borrowing 20bn a year at present. Not only is there no money in the coffers, unless we get the defecit under control (ie, moderate social welfare, public sector pay, capital spending and increase taxes where possible) we will not recover for many decades, if at all.

    I'm not sure people realise just how bad our defecit is.

    Very true.


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