Planning permission has been granted for a bypass of one of the country's worst traffic bottlenecks, Adare.
An Bord Pleanála has given the go ahead to the 35km Adare Bypass and new Foynes to Limerick road development.
Kerry Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae is welcoming the news, saying it’s a game changer for Kerry.
Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin is also welcoming the announcement.
He says for too long, access to Kerry has been stifled both from the N22 via Macroom and the N21 via Adare.
With the N22 upgrade almost complete and today’s news in relation to the N21, it will massively increase accessibility to Kerry for tourism activity and further bolster opportunities of job creation within the county.
This project aims to bypass one of the country's worst traffic bottlenecks, Adare, and connect the Port of Foynes to the motorway network.
It’s to comprise a 15.6 km dual carriageway from Foynes to Rathkeale, along with almost 2km of single carriageway from Askeaton to Ballyclogh.
There will be a 17.5km motorway from Rathkeale to the existing motorway near Limerick city at Attyflin.
There will also be a service area for heavy goods vehicles near Foynes Port.
Limerick City and County Council initially applied to An Bord Pleanála for planning permission for this development in December 2019.
A decision was expected last year, but following several deferrals, An Bord Pleanála has now granted planning permission subject to five conditions.
These include that a post-construction monitoring programme of the barn owl be put in place.
There are nine dwelling, seven of which are lived in, that are to be acquired to make way for this project; 22 landowners are also to be impacted by land acquisition.
The board of Bord Pleanála notes that at a community level, the Adare Bypass and new Foynes to Limerick road will have a significant benefit on human health from reduced traffic on the existing road network.
It says the project will lead to improved road safety for motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists, as well as improved journey times.