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Following the Emerging Preferred Route Corridor Public Consultation, the design team have reviewed and assessed the responses and submissions received from the public. A number of submissions proposed amendments to the emerging preferred route corridor.

The majority of these submissions related to junction locations and to side road alignments, which will be considered further during Phase 3 ‘Design and Environmental Evaluation’ phase in consultation with stakeholders, affected landowners and other interested parties.

Following a review of these submissions, the emerging preferred route corridor has been widened to the south in the vicinity of the existing N61 and Portrunny Road, in the townlands of Newtown and Cloonconra to provide greater flexibility in the design of the road within the corridor at the next phase of design development.

One submission proposed a variation to the emerging preferred route between the townlands of Coolaphubble and Cloonconra, a distance of approximately 4.5km. This proposed alternative (labelled Option C-4) warranted further investigation by the Design Team, accordingly it was developed to the same level of detail as the other six route options to determine whether this alternative option would change the selection of the emerging preferred route corridor.

The appraisal of the Option C-4 versus the emerging preferred route (Option C-3) determined that the Emerging Preferred Route Corridor (Option C-3,) with the incorporation of the widening of the corridor, is preferred. Therefore, Option C-3 incorporating this amendment has been selected as the Preferred Route Corridor (Preferred Option).

The Option Selection Report includes considerable detail of the studies undertaken throughout Phase 2 ‘Option Selection’ to select the Preferred Option. The report is available for download on the Publications Tab of the project website.

A digital copy of the report on Memory Stick can be requested from the N61 Project Team for those who cannot download the report due to poor internet. Alternatively, a hard copy may be purchased for a fee of €50, please contact the design team to request this by telephone or email.
The Project Team would like to sincerely thank those who submitted their feedback and engaged with them over the phone, via email or at meetings during the Emerging Preferred Route Corridor public consultation which was held between December 2020 and January 2021. The Project Team are still contactable by phone or email, should you have any further queries.

Next Steps

Following the Publication of the Option Selection Report, we will be progressing to the next phase of design development (Phase 3 ‘Design and Environmental Evaluation’) subject to the necessary approvals. Phase 3 will involve further development of the scheme, including design of the road, junction design and identifying the landtake required, the preparation of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Appropriate Assessment (AA). This work is envisaged to be undertaken from Q4 in 2021 and run into 2023.
Throughout the Phase 3 design process, the Project Team is committed to continuously engaging with people living, working or who own land and property within the Study Area. The design of the road and identification of the impacts and mitigation measures to minimise those impacts on land and property within the Preferred Route Corridor will take some time to develop. When the design is developed to a sufficient level of detail, further public consultation events will be held, including one to one meetings for those directly or indirectly impacted by the scheme. The feedback from these consultation events and meetings will be considered, and amendments may be made, prior to finalising the design and landtake requirements where appropriate.

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