Ireland is planning to build a 100km motorway between the southern port city of Cork and Limerick on the Shannon estuary.
The €1bn M20, which will run alongside the existing N20, is intended to cut journey times between the two cities to around an hour, and develop the country’s Atlantic Economic Corridor.
The project has been activated and deactivated a number of times over the past 20 years. The most recent plan was to begin some 10 years ago, but this was postponed in 2011 after following the global financial crash. Â
The motorway, part of the Project Ireland 2040 infrastructure programme, is also intended to minimise the number of accidents collisions on the route, reduce congestion in towns and villages along the N20, which one website describes as a "winding country lane". There have been 253 traffic incidents over the past eight years, 17 of them fatal.
Kieron O’Donnell, a member of the Dail, commented: "It opens up an economic corridor along the midwest and southern regions which can compete with the east coast and provide better connectivity between Ireland’s second and third cities to achieve better balanced regional growth underpinned by the government’s Ireland 2040 plan."
A public consultation will be held for the project in 2020. Completion of the route has been tentatively set for 2027.
Image: The N20 is a two-lane road for much of its length, but becomes a dual carriageway outside Limerick (Sarah777/Public Domain)