|Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. |
I would like to welcome you all here today to the official opening of the Corbally Link Road, which will be known as the Pa Healy Road in honour of one of the leading figures in Irish sport during the early years of the 20th century.
Non-national roads play a vital role in the success of our economy – 94% of our roads are non-national roads and they carry 54% of all road traffic.
Improvement works to non-national roads and bridges have a positive effect on both urban and rural development -
· They ensure vital links to the strategic national road network and to the ports and airports, which link us with the wider European economy.
· They improve access to and from remote and rural areas, in particular farmers and those seeking access to employment, training, educational and social opportunities.
· They assist in increasing the potential for the development of local enterprise, particularly in small-scale agri-business, forestry, tourism, fishing and aquaculture and
· They alleviate the negative effects of isolation.
The overall impact of these works is to make the regions more attractive places to live and work in or visit and, therefore raise their level of development, support their economies and contribute to balanced regional development.
The impressive Corbally Link Road project, built at an approx cost of €8.5 million, involved the construction of 900 metres of carriageway, with footpaths and cycle lanes. These will tie-in also to the recently refurbished canal paths, providing improved access to this amenity for local residents.
The Link Road provides improved access to Limerick City from the suburb of Corbally and also from the greater southeast Clare area and will relieve traffic congestion for commuters and local residents alike.
I would like to pay sincere tribute to the evident co-operation between Limerick City Council and the developers in the area, in reaching agreement to advance this vital piece of infrastructure. It will serve many thousands of road users on a daily basis and help free up traffic congestion points.
State aid in 2007 for all non-national roads, at over €605 million, is at its highest ever level: an increase of almost €50 million on the record 2006 allocation.
This year’s allocation alone of over €605 million yet again shows this Government’s commitment to improving our non-national roads network, which is vital to the economy of our local communities.
This year the total non-national road grant allocation to Limerick City Council is over €5.5 million. Limerick City is clearly benefiting from funding for infrastructural projects like the Corbally Link Road and the new Moyross Access Road.
5 schemes in Limerick City are currently receiving funding under the Specific Improvements Grant Scheme – these are:
· O’Callaghan Strand, which has received an allocation of €400,000.
· The R445 Dublin Road, which has been allocated a sum of €200,000.
· The R445 Sexton Street North, has received an allocation of €200,000.
· The R463 O’Dwyer Bridge, has received an allocation of €200,000.
· The R527 Mulgrave Street / Blackboy Road which has received an allocation of €220,000.
I now have great pleasure in declaring the Corbally Link Road officially open. I hope that you will drive safely on this impressive new road and enjoy the benefits it will bring to the area.
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