A section of the dual carriageway Cork County Council

Macroom traffic bottleneck consigned to history as long-awaited bypass opens

Motorists travelling from Cork to Killarney or Tralee will no longer need to pass through the town.

LAST UPDATE | Dec 9th 2022, 11:10 AM

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN has officially opened the newly built Macroom Bypass section of the N22 dual carriageway after almost three years of construction.

The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Danny Collins, and representatives from Cork County Council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) were in attendance for the 11am opening of the new dual carriageway from Baile Bhuirne to Macroom.

The N22, which links Cork city with Killarney and Tralee, currently passes through the town of approximately 3,500.

Speaking at the opening, the Taoiseach said many people from the region thought this day would never come. 

The new bypass will offer “great value in terms of drawing the southwest closer together”, said Micheál Martin, adding that it is about ”rebalancing the economic nature of the country”. 

It will be a “lifeline for the people of Macroom – they’ve put up with far too much”, said the Taoiseach.

Air quality for residents will be improved as it will remove heavy good vehicles from the town, with the new bypass attracting new jobs and housing, he added.

“It’s a very, very good day,” said the Taoiseach.

Mayor of Macroom, Councillor Eileen Lynch, said that locals will benefit massively from the bypass and the reduced traffic in their town.

“The people of Macroom and surrounding areas are very excited about the long awaited bypass officially opening. It’s been a long journey with talks of the need for a bypass for the town going back to the 1970′s,” she said.

“As a town, Macroom has become almost synonymous with traffic and being a bottleneck, the bypass provides an opportunity for the town to highlight it’s many businesses, amenities and people.”

“I’ve no doubt that it will take a little time for things to settle but I’m confident that this will really benefit the town and allow locals to do more shopping and business in the town and entice more tourists to stop and see what Macroom has to offer.

“We’re very hopeful of the long term positive effects for Macroom as we become a bypass town,” Lynch said.

The Mayor of the County of Cork, Councillor Danny Collins said that today is a “fantastic day for the people of Macroom where 13,000 cars and HGVs would travel through daily”.

He added: “It was wonderful to see so many people walking on the new road, taking in the sights and impressive engineering of the road all while raising money for local charities.”

This 8km section of new bypass includes a roundabout at the tie-in on the eastern side of the Cork town, a grade-separated junction on the western end of Macroom and a temporary roundabout allowing traffic to merge with the existing N22.

The road has two lanes in both directions separated with a steel median safety barrier.

Contractor Jons John Craddock JV commenced work on site back in January 2020 and completed the bypass ahead of schedule.

Another 14km of new road is estimated to be completed in Autumn 2023.

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