The Minister for Transport, Noel Dempsey, TD, will today (September 1st) open the completed 32km M50 Upgrade Scheme that has transformed the M50 from a two-lane heavily congested road with toll barriers and signaled interchanges into a modern free-flowing motorway that has reduced journey times by up to 50%. The upgraded M50 has resulted in shorter, more reliable and safer journeys that improve commuters’ quality of life, increase efficiency for businesses and help Dublin to be more competitive in order to attract more foreign inward investment.
The one billion euro project was carried out over four and a half years, in the midst of 100,000 moving vehicles per day and was completed four months ahead of schedule. The final section of the upgraded M50 Motorway, the new and improved Junction 6 (N3 Blanchardstown Interchange), will open to traffic at 5.30pm this evening.
“This upgrade scheme will future proof the M50 by helping to reduce traffic congestion and providing very significant time savings for hard pressed motorists,” says Noel Dempsey. “This investment and the billions more that we are spending on the provision of world class transport infrastructure is helping to boost our national competitiveness. This Government will continue to invest in transport because we are committed to having the proper infrastructure in place to make the most of our economic recovery.”
The removal of the West-Link Toll Plaza and its replacement with a fully electronic barrier-free tolling system was a crucial element of the strategy for easing congestion on Ireland’s busiest roadway allowing drivers to travel unencumbered at the legal speed limit along the M50. As we reach the second anniversary of the commencement of barrier-free tolling, traffic volumes on the toll section are approaching an average of 100,000 vehicles per day, equating to 2.9 million transactions being processed per month.
The revenue raised through e-flow tolling is being used to fund the M50 motorway upgrade costs along with the future operation and maintenance costs of the road.
The M50 Upgrade Scheme was funded by the Irish Government under the National Development Plan and Transport 21 and was delivered through the National Roads Authority’s PPP mechanism.