Almost €26 million is headed to Carlow and Kilkenny this year for the protection, improvement, and maintenance of regional and local roads. This is a really welcome investment, not just in the overall improvement and maintenance of our road network, but also in future-proofing our roads against potential impacts from climate change and an increase in extreme weather events and flooding.
I know that investing in Ireland's existing regional and local road network is a priority for the Minister of Transport, and I think most people would agree it makes far more sense to protect and maintain our roads rather than letting them fall into a level of disrepair that is more costly to repair. Equally, we’ve been seeing the impact an extreme weather event can have, and we know they’re on the increase, so it’s prudent to try to protect against that now.
Today's announcement sees a national allocation of €626 million, which includes an €8.2 million allocation for Carlow's roads, along with €17.7 for Kilkenny's. In both counties the bulk of that investment is for restoration and maintenance work, but I’m really pleased also to see a strand within this funding that specifically addresses climate adaptation and resilience works.
Our local and regional roads are so important for local connectivity, and the impact of climate change and an increase in extreme weather events is not just contributing to wear and tear on our roads, it actually puts that connectivity at risk.
So, it's vitally important that government prioritises this kind of forward-thinking, strategic investment to future-proof our regional towns and cities and our rural communities.
Within this funding, for both counties, we are providing for a range of schemes from larger strategic road improvements to smaller-scale road improvements and critical bridge rehabilitation works. In Kilkenny, that Climate Change Adaptation work will include flood relief at Ballynametagh; bridge repairs and resurfacing at Goatsbridge; and €100,000 for stormwater evaluation at the Waterford Road to Outrath Road. There’s also significant investment in 19 bridges across both Carlow and Kilkenny, along with a programme of work to bring about critical safety improvements across the regional and local road network.
You can see a full breakdown of projects for Carlow and Kilkenny here.