Suspended Schemes

N4 N15 to County Boundary

  • The N4/N15 National Primary Route is a strategic road corridor linking Sligo to Letterkenny and was designated part of the ‘Atlantic Road Corridor’ (Transport 21, 2005) linking the port of Waterford in the south-east with the cities of Cork, Limerick, Galway, and Sligo and extending to Letterkenny in the north-west.
  • This Project, which is now on hold involved the improvement and realignment of approximately 27 km of the existing N4 and N15 and incorporates bypasses of Rathcormac, Drumcliff, Grange and Cliffoney. The scheme extends from Hughes Bridge in Sligo City to Bunduff Bridge on the border between County Sligo and County Leitrim. The total length of the proposed scheme is 25.9km which consisted of the following sections:
  • The construction of 0.73km of Urban 3 lane Dual Carriageway – Both the N4/N15 Hughes Bridge Widening Project completed in 2015 and the Sligo Urban Improvement Scheme which is under construction form part of this element of the overall Project.
  • The construction of 1.0km of Urban 2 lane Dual Carriageway.
  • The construction of 4.1km of Type 1 Dual Carriageway.
  • The construction of 19.2km of Type 2 Dual Carriageway.
  • The construction of 0.53km of Standard Single Carriageway.
  • The construction of seven roundabouts.
  • The construction of approximately 10km of link roads.
  • The widening of Hughes Bridge in Sligo by provision of footpaths outside existing bridge.
  • The construction of 13 road bridges and 3 river bridges.
  • The closure of seven local roads.

Existing Road Network:

The existing N15 consists of generally a single carriageway road and passes through the villages of Rathcormack, Drumcliff, Grange and Cliffoney, which brings high volumes of traffic through these villages. Traffic congestion affects these villages through community severance, inconvenience, delay, and reduced safety in addition to the environmental impacts of traffic.

Development Benefits

The Proposed Road Development was initially proposed and examined due to deficiencies in the existing road network from the points of view of capacity and safety and was supported by both National and Local Government policy. There will be a positive net benefit to the economy and local communities in terms of improved safety, savings on time and fuel. The provision of this Proposed Road Development as part of a modern transport network would facilitate the continued economic development of the area.

The main objectives of the Proposed Road Development were to:

  • Improve the N4/N15 route to modern day standards including the provision of safe overtaking areas and appropriate road width.
  • Provide bypasses of Rathcormack, Drumcliff, Grange and Cliffoney to alleviate traffic congestion and improve the environment of the villages through the removal of through traffic particularly heavy commercial vehicles.
  • To facilitate easy access and efficient movement of people and goods through the region.
  • To allow for the development of economic activity in accordance with the County Development Plans.
  • To provide an effective highway infrastructure with reserve capacity for future demands.
  • To preserve the environmental amenities of the area.

The scheme would bring about a reduction in accidents. Statistical evidence suggests that the use of Dual Carriageway, with a physical barrier to segregate opposing lanes, would bring about a reduction in the frequency and severity of accidents when compared with a single carriageway. The Scheme would improve driving conditions on the existing N4/N15, which is identified in the EuroRAP publication as having ‘Medium’ risk from Sligo town to Grange.

On a national level, a high percentage of traffic would travel on business and consequent time delays translate to financial losses. The scheme was initially proposed and examined on the basis of:

  • Deficiencies in the existing road network from the points of view of capacity, safety, and pavement strength.
  • Reducing the negative environmental impacts of forcing the future traffic volumes through the rural towns and communities.
  • Having a modern transport network to facilitate continued economic development of the area on a local, regional, and national level as part of the overall Atlantic Route Corridor.
  • A properly designed scheme of its own accord will have a positive net benefit to the economy in terms of savings on time, fuel, and improved safety.
  • The Proposed Road Development formed part of the planned overall upgrading of the existing N15 as part of the (N15; N17; N18; N20 and N25) Atlantic Corridor.

Current Status:

A preferred route was selected for the N4/N15 Sligo to County Boundary following a route selection process which was completed in 2007.

Following same the preliminary design, Environmental Impact Statement and Compulsory Purchase Documents were prepared for the preferred route and completed in draft in 2010 with the intention at the time to seek planning approval from An Bord Pleanála. However, due to financial constraints, approval was not granted by the National Road Authority (Now Transport Infrastructure Ireland) to progress the application and therefore the Project was shelved.

For detailed mapping of the Project, please click on the link below (However, please note if funding is provided by Transport Infrastructure Ireland to recommence this Project, it is likely that Sligo County Council will have to reexamine the Route Selection Process and recommence preparation of all Statutory deliverables as well as the Business Case for the Project in accordance with the TII National Road Project Management Guidelines and the Governments Public Spending Code.

Small elements of the Project have and are being developed at present (i.e.) Widening of the N4 Hughes Bridge as well as the project currently at construction to the north of Hughes Bridge (N4/N15 Sligo Urban Improvement Scheme), as these align with funding streams available from Transport Infrastructure Ireland.

Future Proposals

It is hoped to develop this Project further over the coming years subject to planning approval and Government funding. It is currently envisaged that the next phase shall be to provide a dual carriageway to Scotmans Walk which is just to the north of Sligo City.


Download the N4 N15 Sligo to County Boundary Preliminary Design Drawings