What is the project? There are 2 separate projects called the ‘N2 Ardee to Castleblayney’ and ‘N2 Clontibret to Border’ Road Schemes. These are two individual road schemes that are being developed in accordance with the TII Project Management Guidelines (PMG). Jacobs Engineering Ireland has been appointed as the Consultant to progress both of these schemes. The development of each of these schemes is subject to the relevant approvals and funding being provided.
What is the need for this project? The project aims to deliver on the strategies and objectives of the National Development Plan (NDP) 2018 - 2027 and National Planning Framework (NPF) - Project Ireland 2040. The N2 Clontibret to Border scheme will upgrade a 28km section of the N2 National Primary Road in County Monaghan between Clontibret and the Northern Ireland Border, and the N2 Ardee to Castleblayney Scheme will upgrade a 32km section of the N2 National Primary Road in Counties Monaghan and Louth between Ardee and Castleblayney. The schemes will address issues of safety, journey time and capacity along the national and the TEN-T network of the N2. The project will improve connectivity within the counties of Louth & Monaghan as well as regional and national accessibility between Dublin and the northwest.
How likely is the scheme to be built? The upgrade of the N2 has been identified within a list of key projects in the recently published National Planning Framework and National Development Plan however the advancement of the schemes is subject to ongoing funding and statutory approvals.
How will the scheme be progressed? The TII Project Management Guidelines (PMG) informs the design process. A study area has been defined and constraints were identified. A period of non-statutory public consultation was held in June and July 2019 where the public was invited to make submissions or comment on the study area and constraints.
The ‘Option Selection’ Phase has now commenced. It is a 3-stage process. Stage 1 considered the identified constraints, the feedback received through the first public consultation, and the relevant design standards to develop a range of feasible routes within the Study Area. These initial feasible routes have been shortlisted to identify Route Corridor Options to be considered in the next stage of the planning and design process. Stage 2 will involve an in-depth assessment of each Route Corridor Option to identify an Emerging Preferred Route Corridor. Under Stage 3, a Preferred Route Corridor Option will be selected.
What does a route corridor represent? Route corridors on this project will typically be 400m in width. Route corridors do not represent the actual width of the road scheme or lands to be acquired. The corridors give an indication of the area within which it is intended to develop a road alignment. In some instances, the route corridor may be increased at particular locations or may change, typically to accommodate engineering needs, environmental assessments or to address feedback provided through the consultation processes.
Can a route corridor change? Feedback obtained from the public consultation and ongoing surveys and environmental/engineering assessments will be considered by the Project Team and, if appropriate, route corridors may be adjusted. Route corridors are typically shown 400m in width to allow for adjustments to route options as described above. The adjustments to the route alignment options will generally occur within the route corridor but in some instances the route corridor may need to be increased or changed. Combinations of different sections of route corridor options may also be examined if it is thought that such combinations of sections could result in a better overall scheme.
In Stage 1 of the Option Selection Phase, what criteria were used to reduce the number of initial feasible route corridor options to the shortlisted Route Corridor Options? Stage 1 of the TII Option Selection process is the ‘Preliminary Options Assessment’. The assessment criteria for the initial Feasible Route Corridor Options are ‘Engineering’, ‘Environment’ & ‘Economy’.
How are Route Options assessed to identify the Emerging Preferred Route Corridor? The Route Corridor Options were identified and shortlisted as part of Stage 1 of the Options Selection Phase. Feedback and comments received from the non-statutory public consultation on the route corridor options will be considered by the Project Team when assessing these options during Stage 2 of the Option Selection Phase. The assessment criteria for Stage 2 will be ‘Economy’, ‘Safety’, ‘Environment’, ‘Accessibility and Social Inclusion’, ‘Integration’ and ‘Physical Activity’.
The Emerging Preferred Route Corridor is the Corridor which is likely to be the Preferred Route, based on TII’s Stage 1 and Stage 2 Option Selection assessments. The Emerging Preferred Route will go on display during a third period of non-statutory public consultation and the public will be invited to make submissions or comment on the Emerging Preferred Route before a Preferred Route Corridor is finalised.
Will the schemes involve demolition of property? The N2 Ardee to Castleblayney and the N2 Clontibret to Border Road Schemes are 32km and 28km respectively. It is likely that some residential property will be affected, and it is possible that a small proportion may need to be purchased to facilitate the scheme. Each property is considered a constraint and in so far as possible, the scheme will seek to avoid and/or minimise impacts. If property acquisition is required to facilitate the scheme, affected property owners will be consulted directly by the Project Team as the design of the scheme develops.
How will land be acquired? Will I be compensated? Given the scale of the project, it is likely that all lands required for the schemes will be acquired through a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO). Should any part of a person’s private land/property holding be included in the CPO, the land/property owner is entitled to compensation. This may also be the case for a person who may have an interest in any land/property identified in the CPO. Compensation will be provided in accordance with CPO legislation. A guide to the process and the legislation is provided by the Citizens Information website.
Will this project affect the planning application process in the area? Monaghan County Council/Louth County Council Planning Department have the responsibility for planning and managing development within the County. New planning applications within the study area may have an impact on the delivery of a future road scheme. Planning applications and new developments may still be granted within the study area/route corridors, however as some planning applications may affect the scheme all relevant planning applications will be reviewed by the design team. Each application will be considered on a case by case basis and a considered engineering opinion will be formed in relation to the potential impact of the application on the scheme. In some cases an application may be considered premature subject to the preferred route corridor being determined.
How will planning applications within the previous N2 Clontibret to Border preferred route corridor be considered? Each planning application within the previous N2 Clontibret to Border preferred route corridor will continue to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis until the new route selection process is complete.
What will the status of bypassed sections of national roads be post completion? The status of bypassed sections of national road has not been determined at this time. Bypassed sections of national roads may remain as a national road or may be reclassified to regional or local roads following construction of new sections of the national route.
Has a traffic assessment been completed? Initial traffic data collection took place in May and September 2019. This information will be analysed and used to develop a traffic model which will inform the route selection phase.
What is the relevance of input from members of the public? The Project Team will consider inputs from members of the public, such as submissions received through the public consultation processes, or identification of local issues. This will contribute to the development of the route selection process and scheme design.
Unit 10B MTEK-1 Building,
Monaghan, H18 WV79