N3 road (Ireland)
|Length:||205 km (127 mi)|
(bypassed routes in italics)
The N3 road is a national primary road in Ireland, running between Dublin, Cavan and the border with County Fermanagh. The A509 and A46 roads in Northern Ireland form part of an overall route connecting to Enniskillen, and northwest to the border again where the N3 reappears to serve Ballyshannon in County Donegal.
Rush hour congestion between Navan and Dublin city was very heavy (up to 22,000 vehicles per day on single carriageway portions of the N3 in 2002), and problems occurred at most built-up areas between these points. A tolled motorway bypass replacement, the M3 motorway, was opened to traffic on the 4 June 2010.
It passes through a major junction with the M50 motorway and then bypasses Blanchardstown, Mulhuddart and Clonee with a dual carriageway. The dual carriageway changes into the M3 motorway near the Meath border by-passing Dunshaughlin and Navan. Near Kells the route continues as the N3 dual carriage way to the border with County Cavan. It then passes through Virginia, past Cavan Town and continues past Butlersbridge and through Belturbet. The route then crosses the border with Northern Ireland, becoming the A509 to Enniskillen. The A46 connects Enniskillen and the Donegal border, becoming the N3 across the border at Belleek, and connecting to Ballyshannon. In Ballyshannon certain road signs have destinations A46 Enniskillen with N3 Dublin with the requisite single arrow pointing in the same direction.
The National Roads Authority in conjunction with Cavan and Donegal County Councils plan major improvements to the N3 route in Ulster. It is currently planned that the Virginia bypass will be developed as 12.5 kilometres of type 2 dual carriageway( known as 2+2). Type two dual carriageway has reduced width or no hard shoulders and also a reduced width median. This approach significantly cuts land acquisition costs.
A bypass of the village of Belturbet in Co. Cavan was almost fully completed in August 2013 and the completed sections opened to traffic on August 2nd, 2013. The completed Belturbet bypass will consist of 6.7 kilometres of standard single carriageway with five at-grade junctions. 
|Length:||51 km (32 mi)|
|Existed:||2007 – present|
|History:||Completed in 2010|
|To:||Kells, County Meath|
|Dunboyne, Dunshaughlin, Navan, Kells|
Part of the old N3 route has been bypassed by the construction of 51 kilometres of new motorway. This stretch of motorway, designated M3, was opened on 4 June 2010. The M3 begins near the end of the dual carriageway outside Clonee and terminates south west of Kells just before the N52.
The construction scheme did not terminate at this point as a new realigned N3 2+2 Non Motorway section continued from the end of the Motorway past Kells before terminating near the County Cavan border. The overall scheme also included the N52 Kells northern bypass. Since completion, the M3 now bypasses Dunshaughlin, Navan, and Kells along with Cavan which was bypassed much earlier.
The motorway was contested because the route passes near the Hill of Tara and through the archaeologically rich Tara-Skryne valley or Gabhra. The planned route corridor was approved by An Bord Pleanála (Ireland's planning appeals board) in August 2003.
On 30 September 2008, the Department of Transport announced the second round of proposed motorway reclassifications under the Roads Act 2007. A short section of the existing dual-carriageway N3 bypassing Clonee, from northwest of Mulhuddart to the start of the M3 toll motorway scheme, is affected by this. Following a public consultation process, on 10 July 2009 the Minister for Transport, Noel Dempsey, made a Statutory Instrument reclassifying this section of the N3 as motorway effective from 28 August 2009. It was the first section of M3 to come into being.
Motorway project details
- The most expensive single contract road project ever undertaken in Ireland coming in at approximately €650 million according to SIAC.
- It is tolled at two locations, one point north of Navan and another point between Dunshaughlin and Clonee for 45 years running from 2007. The Government have the option to buy out this contract at any time. The price level of tolls is controlled by the Board of the NRA and they can reduce, increase or remove the tolls as they see appropriate (as is the case with every other toll road in Ireland e.g. Dublin Port Tunnel weekend price reduction). Should they lower the tolls on the M3 the government would have to make up the difference of what is owed yearly to Eurolink M3 Ltd through tax revenue. Thus Eurolink are guaranteed a certain agreed return from their investment and would not suffer from any reduction in toll revenue from either a toll reduction or the planned opening of the Navan rail line. The toll revenue is collected by a private company on behalf of the state as a means to pay the private sector consortium annually for their initial one off investment in constructing the road.
- It is the longest single road project ever to be constructed in Ireland including nearly 100 kilometres of new or upgraded road including 49 km of new M3, 10 km of new N3, 20 km of new link roads and interchanges, and approximately 15 kilometres of local road improvements, footpaths, cycle lanes and new bridges.
- It was originally planned to open in 2006.
- An Bord Pleanála initially approved the project on 22 August 2003. Exactly 4 years later, on 22 August 2007, they directed that the excavation of the Lismullin monument did not require fresh planning approval.
|Northbound exit||Junction||Southbound exit|
|M50 motorway : Dublin Port, Bray and all other routes (M50)||M50 motorway : Dublin Port, Bray and all other routes (M50)|
|Clonee, Damastown||End of motorway|
|Northbound exit||Junction||Southbound exit|
|Start of motorway||Clonee, Damastown|
|Pace Interchange: Dunboyne, Trim (R154), Ratoath (R155)||Pace Interchange: Dunboyne, Trim (R154), Ratoath (R155)|
|Dunshaughlin, Kilcock||Dunshaughlin, Kilcock|
|Skryne (R147), Johnstown||Skryne (R147), Johnstown|
|Navan (South)||Navan (South)|
|Navan (North), Delvin, Athboy (N51)||Navan (North), Delvin, Athboy (N51)|
|End of motorway
M2 Motorway and N52
|11||Start of motorway
M2 Motorway and N52
|Road continues as N3 for Cavan, Enniskillen and Ballyshannon|
- Roads in Ireland
- Motorways in Ireland
- National secondary road
- Regional road
- National Development Plan
- History of roads in Ireland
- National Roads Authority
- "Part of N3 Belturbet bypass opens". Northern Sound. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- "N3 Belturbet Bypass". National Roads Authority. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- Eileen Battersby (26 May 2007). "Is nothing sacred?". The Irish Times.
- Glenn Frankel (22 January 2005). "In Ireland, Commuters vs. Kings". The Washington Post. p. A01. Retrieved 2007-06-14.
- Official M3 website
- NRA project page for M3 motorway
- Zoney Irish Roads website
- Website of group of people working to re-route the M3
- BBC News article
- Washington Post article