Details of an overall €597m package of investment for Regional and Local roads were unveiled by Minister Eamon Ryan, with overall funding increased by more than €26m for this year. The funding package will allow approximately 3,100kms of roads to be maintained and 2,550kms to be strengthened.
The main priority in 2022 continues to be the protection and renewal of the existing Regional and Local road network. Last year a Climate Change Adaptation Grant was initiated for works on roads at risk due to the impact of climate change and severe weather events. This funding will continue in 2022 with €15 million being allocated for 355 climate change adaptation projects.
Separately, €12 million is being allocated to road safety schemes that target remedial measures to improve road safety for vulnerable road users and vehicular traffic. This funding will allow in excess of 300 safety projects to be carried out. This also includes provision for funding to continue a signage programme which includes signage to support lower speed limits in housing areas, rural speed limit signage and a “safe passing” cycle sign.
It has also been confirmed that a new two year work programme under the Community Involvement Scheme is starting this year with €15 million being allocated to the Scheme in 2022.
Funding of €16 million is being allocated for 350 bridge rehabilitation schemes to be progressed. Bridge rehabilitation work is consistently required to maintain and renew an old bridge stock which is made up of approximately 80% masonry arch structures.
Provision has been made for a limited programme of strategic road improvement projects. 12 regional and local road improvement projects were identified for development, subject to necessary approvals, in the original 2018-2027 National Development Plan. Six of these projects have been completed and construction will be underway in 2022 on a further four.