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Westport to Mulranny Road Project for Transport System

Paper type: Project
Pages: 9 (2084 words)
Categories: Transport, Transport System, Transportation
Downloads: 3
Views: 7


  • MNRDO Mayo National Roads Design Office
  • TII Transport Infrastructure Ireland
  • MCC Mayo County Council
  • NRA National Roads Authority
  • CPO Compulsory Purchase Order
  • DTTAS Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport
  • NTA National Transport Authority
  • SAC Special Area of Conservation
  • SPA Special Protection Areas
  • AA Appropriate Assessment
  • EIS Environmental Impact Statement
  • NIS Natura Impact Statement
  • PMG Project Management Guidelines
  • HSA Health & Safety Authority
  • EPA Environmental Protection Agency
  • GWS Group Water Scheme
  • IFI Inland Fisheries Ireland
  • OPW Office of Public Works
  • NPWA National Parks & Wildlife Association
  • SRW Specification For Roadworks (TII)


The N59 Westport to Mulranny road project consists of a new type 3 single carriageway (To Transport Infrastructure Ireland Standards) from north of Westport town to the east of Mulranny village in County Mayo.

The N59 road project is approximately 21km in length involving both online and offline operations. The Great Western Greenway (GWG) runs adjacent to the N59 which as part of the overall plan is being realigned and updated to current standards.

The project was advanced by Mayo County Councils National Roads Design Office and in conjunction with the National Roads Authority (Now TII). The project was funded by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS).

Compliance with Legislation for Proceeding with the N59 Westport to Mulranny Project

The N59 Westport to Mulranny Road Project planning & design stages began in 2009. The National Roads Authority (Now TII) issued the Project Management Guidelines in January 2010 and although the planning & design stages of this project commenced prior to this the project followed the structure outlined in these guidelines which split the process of the project into the following 7 Phases:


This involved identifying the need for a scheme and to establish a Project Management Structure for the scheme including the appointment of service providers. This phase also included feasibility studies to ascertain the likelihood of completing the project successfully. Feasibility Studies were completed on the N59 project which assessed the technical viability of the proposed route corridors.


This involved identifying a suitable study area for examination of alternative routes, to identify key constraints within that study area, to develop feasible route options and to carry out a systematic assessment of these options leading to the selection of a preferred route corridor which formed the basis for the detailed design.

The project corridor for the N59 scheme was first presented at a public consultation in June 2010. A public display of route options was undertaken in late 2010 where the route was split into 7 sections, four of which were online re-alignments and three were offline alignments, route options were proposed for these sections of the scheme. Following the route options public display, the information gathered was used to improve the route options and to establish a preferred route which was then publicly displayed in April 2011.


Further to the selection of a preferred route corridor this phase involved developing the design of the scheme, to a stage where enough detail existed to establish land take requirements and to progress the scheme through the statutory process. The design was complete to sufficient detail in order to progress to the statutory process of stage 4. A preliminary design of the N59 Westport to Mulranny Road was created after the decision of the preferred route. At present two sections of this project are complete and while Mayo National Roads Design Office designed the Rossow Bends section the second section which is complete was designed by RPS Consulting Engineers.

The section (Kilmeena Section) which is currently under construction has also been designed by RPS Consulting Engineers. While RPS have designed the Kilmeena section and are acting as Employers Representative, Mayo National Roads Design office are staffing the Resident Engineering team for the project. While the current project (Kilmeena Section) was designed by RPS we have came across some unforeseeable circumstances which required major design changes onsite, for instance settlement damage occurred to an existing bridge – Structure 48 Knockyspricken Arch Bridge (Which was originally designed to be extended) following piling operations. The damage at Structure 48 was a result of settlement of the existing foundations caused by ground disturbance during installation of casings for the proposed bored piles.

The exact cause of the ground disturbance was unproven. Considering the different elements associated with piling it was possible that the high pressure compressed air used during the installation may have disturbed and weakened the loose sand directly under the existing abutment. Sub-artesian conditions, potentially leading to loss of fines over a period of time through water flowing from the casing, may have aggravated the ground disturbance. Having assessed several options for remedial works it was deemed that the existing structure was knocked in its entirety and replaced with a precast box culvert. This involved consulting & liaising with various stake holders from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) for the approval of the new structure, the Office of Public Works (OPW) for amendments to the Section 50 and liaising with Inland Fisheries Ireland due to instream works.


During the planning & route selection stage of the scheme a number of Environmental issues were identified. During the planning phases of this project, environmental assessments and various environmental studies were undertaken as part of the development of the preliminary design. Within 10km of the proposed route, Six Natura 2000 sites were found. These included Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) as mandated by the EU Directive on Birds (2009/147/EC) & the EU Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC), respectively. Due to the proximity of some of these sites only four were considered to have an impact on the scheme. Considering the proximity of Natura 2000 sites, Mayo NRDO commissioned an Appropriate Assessment Screening report at phase 2 of the route selection process and subsequently produced a Natura Impact Statement for the scheme in August 2011. Mayo NRDO procured several environmental consultants to carry out the scheme’s environmental assessments. The reports and findings from the numerous assessments & investigations were used in the preparation of the design, Part XI/Part 8 Plans & Particulars, the Natura Impact Statement and the CPO Maps.

While it was decided that this scheme did not require an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), it did require the local authority’s permission, and this was achieved by implementing the planning process through Part XI / Part 8. The proposals of Part XI / Part 8 were released in August 2011 in compliance with the 2001 planning and development regulations. Such plans included all lands required to build the scheme and the boundaries of the CPOs for each plot.

Mayo Co. Co. had to apply for approval from An Bord Pleanala under Section 177AE of the Planning & Development Act 2000 for local authorities. An Bord Pleanala acknowledged the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) and approved the Natura Impact Statement (NIS) for the project in July 2012.


This involved the preparation of advanced Works Contracts and preparing of tendering documentation, assessment of tenders and award of the main construction contract.

As this scheme was split into 5 projects each developed at different stages. Two of the sections have been constructed to date, one is currently under construction and there are a further two sections which have a preliminary design complete and the tendering process for these sections are planned to take place within the next two years. An Engineering consultancy has been awarded to the develop stage 4 of this project, which initially will involve putting together a detailed design for tender submissions. Depending on when fundsare allocated the next section is expected to go ahead late 2020 or early 2021.


This involved the administration of the Main construction contract and management of the entire scheme during the construction and implementation phases. Mayo National Roads Design Office carried out contract administration and supplied Resident Engineering staff for the two sections complete to date and the section ongoing at present. The Contract used to administer the works was the Public Works Contract for Civil Engineering Works designed by the Employer (Document Ref: PW-CF3 v2.2). Mayo NRDO appointed a design consultancy for one of the sections complete and the current section ongoing they also have also designed sections in within the national roads office.


This involved the completion of all outstanding contractual and residual issues relating to the scheme leading to the closeout of the entire project and on the review of the scheme to ascertain the key lessons to be learned for future schemes.

To date, two sections of the N59 Westport to Mulranny Scheme have been completed with certification of substantial completion issued to the contractors involved after receiving all relevant documentation (i.e Asbuilt drawings, Safety Files, Close out of snags / defects list etc).

Governance of the Public Road Network

This project involved liaising with numerous stake holders and government departments. The project was advanced by Mayo County Council (Mayo National Roads Design Office) and is affiliated with the Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).

The N59 Westport to Mulranny road project was funded by the Irish Government under the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport (DTTAS), this involved TII liaising with DTTAS roads division which deal with road policy, investment, legislation and allocation of funding to TII for national roads and in turn TII allocates funds to local authorities.

Other stake holders involved in this project were the Office of Public Works for Section 50 approvals for structures who are funded by the Department of Public Expenditure and reform, Inland Fisheries Ireland for waterways & subsidiaries of waterways within the works, the Health & Safety Authority to ensure compliance with H & S regulations, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who strive to protect the Environment, An Bord Peanala who dealt with some of the planning process & approved the CPO for this project. More stake holders included the ESB, EIR, Group Water Schemes (GWS).

Financial Management

Mayo National Roads Design Office received funding from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) for this project, who in turn received funding by the Government through the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS). In order to receive this funding, programmes were drafted following a regime of inspections & analysis. As this project is in Phase 3 of this scheme not all funding has been allocated to the project, funding is released from TII as it becomes available and as the phases are progressed.

As the different phases progress on the N59 project it is evident to see that while the tenders / contract sums for each separate phase come in under that estimated by the local authorities, by the end of the construction stages this value has been exceeded which is normally due to a high number of compensation events being raised by the Contractor. This seems to come from the contracts being won by the contractor due to submitting a low price and trying to gain some money back during the construction phase by assessing where claims can be made. While the public Works Contracts are Value for money for the Local Authority, improvements should be made to the tendering process and not rewarding so many marks towards the lowest price.


The N59 stretches from Galway along the Wild Atlantic Way on the western side of Co. Mayo up as far as Sligo and is a vital route for commuters and tourists visiting our country. The new N59 Westport to Mulranny Road project will eventually connect to the N5 Westport to Turlough Road which is due to commence the construction stage at the beginning 2020, once complete this will open up further access to west Mayo which will enhance the overall tourism in this area. The new N59 route will be safer and as a result of this improvement, travel times will be improved. Investing in this route is an investment in our local communities and our tourism industry and will benefit everybody associated with the N59 in this region.

As this project includes upgrading and re-alignment of the existing Great Western Greenaway in enhances the area to both locals and tourists, this has been reflected in the rise of pedestrians / cyclists using this greenway within the last few years.


  1.  www.regdesign.com
  2. NRA 2010 Project Management Guidelines 2010

Cite this essay

Westport to Mulranny Road Project for Transport System. (2019, Dec 13). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/westport-to-mulranny-road-project-for-transport-system-essay

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