The first phase of the Western Distributor Road which opened at the end of January 2010 is a half-mile long, 10 metre wide road running from Ballydoogan Road, near the Mitchell Curley Park entrance, down to the Strandhill Road at Kevinsfort Heath and comprises of a single carriageway, with adjacent cycle lanes and footpaths on both sides.
The road is the first phase of a route that, when finished, will run from the Caltragh interchange on the Inner Relief Road down to the Strandhill Road and on to the Finisklin Industrial Estate, creating a much needed route into Finisklin avoiding the frequent rush hour traffic chaos in Sligo Town centre.
Phase 2 will consist of a 2km length of roadway continuing from the end of Phase 1 at Ballydoogan to the Caltragh Interchange, crossing Oakfield Road and the Sligo-Dublin railway line at Maugheraboy.
Sligo County Council say the function of the 20 million Euro road is to allow the development of a strategic non-national urban link road on the western side of Sligo Town.
It is intended this will improve access to the existing IDA industrial/ business park at Finisklin and to a proposed IDA business park at Oakfield and will make for better access to Sligo Airport at Strandhill.
However, Residents in the Kevinsfort area of Sligo Town have said they are outraged by the proposed route of the Western Distributor Road.
Particular concern has been expressed that the route of the new road passes through part of the Mitchell Curley Park, which was only opened a few years ago, close to a toddler’s playground, and that it will be going through the middle of the Kevinsfort Heath housing estate.
The €12 million, 2.5 kilometres two-lane road will start at the new Caltragh interchange on the Inner Relief Road, travel in a westerly direction, crossing Oakfield Road and then turning north to cross the Ballydoogan Road. After that will run between the Mitchell Curley Park and Kevinsfort Heath estate, and on to the Strandhill Road/First Sea Road junction.
Sligo Borough Council senior engineer Tom Brennan said that “the new road had been included in various development plans since the 1970s”, and continued by saying that “the road was needed to provide access to residential, business and mixed-use zoned lands in the western areas of Sligo Town and environs, to service existing residential areas and to relieve traffic congestion on existing roads in western parts of the town”.