The 40km Carlow to Knocktopher stretch joins up with the Carlow bypass to the north, which opened in May 2008, and the M9 Knocktopher to Waterford, which opened in March this year.
Bishop of Ossory Seamus Freeman and Dean of Ossory, Reverend Katherine Poulton blessed the new stretch of motorway before the minister unveiled a dedicated plaque and cut the ribbon. Within minutes the road was opened to traffic.
The completion of the scheme is expected to take up to 30 minutes off the travel time between Dublin and Waterford, and the new stretch also includes a link road from the motorway to Kilkenny city via the Hebron Road roundabout.
Kilkenny and the south east region can expect to benefit treblefold from investment into the new M9 motorway, which opened its final phase yesterday.
Motorway opens up south
The scheme came in within budget at million and three months ahead of schedule.
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South Kilkenny Fine Gael senator, John Paul Phelan, welcomed the opening of the new road, which he said was particularly beneficial to Kilkenny as it ran the length of the county.
a great day for Kilkenny to have the opportunity to have such a fantastic motorway structure in the region, and on a national level, to have Kilkenny that much closer to Dublin is something we will definitely promote, she told the Advertiser.
in villages and towns like Thomastown will benefit hugely from this as it will take heavy vehicles in particular out of the villages. It great that this was done before the economy collapsed. opening of the new motorway is also expected to improve road safety in the region and users have been urged to drive with caution and at appropriate speeds.
final 40km section of motorway between Carlow and Knocktopher opens another significant region of the country and it will prove vital in assisting local, national and international competitiveness. McGrath, CEO of Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce, agreed the new motorway would have beneficial effects in terms of attracting new investment to the city as well as improving connectivity for local businesses.
arts, retail, everything is going to have a better opportunity to attract business into Kilkenny city centre. People can drive down to Kilkenny or get the train, it great to have so many options and to see this kind of investment coming on board. Dempsey was on hand to open the final section of the M9 alongside cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council Catherine Connery and her Carlow counterpart William Paton on Thursday morning.
gives the villages and towns back to their own inhabitants who thought they would never see an end to the traffic, said Puma R698 Black
roads between Kilkenny city and Waterford used to be some of the worst roads in the country and now they will be some of the best. We were starved for investment for years so it good this is finally getting completed, he told the Advertiser.
Highlighting the economic benefits of the new motorway system, Minister Dempsey noted that around 10 years ago 97 per cent of the total foreign investment into the country went within three miles of national primary routes.
is an important day for the entire south east. It opens Puma Dark Green up this whole area for tourism and economic activity, he told a large crowd, which included political representatives and dignitaries from both Carlow and Kilkenny.
With 63km of motorway completed in county Kilkenny this year, Cllr Connery said it marked a watermark in improvement to the county road network the last decade over billion has been spent on the road network in Kilkenny and this boosts Kilkenny competitiveness and primes the county for investment and growth and gives us grounds for optimism across the region for the future, she said.
The opening of the new motorway has also been welcomed for taking traffic out of a number of the towns along the route, with the new stretch bypassing Knocktopher, Stoneyford, Kilkenny, Paulstown, Thomastown, Dungarvan Puma White Shoes
According to Transport Minister Noel Dempsey, analysis done on inter urban motorways like the M9 showed that they give an economic return of about three to one.
With up to billion invested in the M9 motorway, this could mean an economic return of up to billion, Minister Dempsey said at the opening of the 40km stretch of motorway from Carlow to Knocktopher.
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