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Killaloe Bypass/Shannon Bridge Crossing/R494 Upgrade

The proposed Killaloe Bypass, Shannon Bridge Crossing and R494 Improvement Scheme will provide a western bypass of Killaloe, a new bridge crossing of the River Shannon and an upgrade of the existing R494 regional road from Ballina to the N7 at Bridhill. The entire scheme is approximately 6.2km and will cross the River Shannon approximately 1km to the south of the existing Killaloe Bridge and will cross the Kilmastulla River (a tributary of the River Shannon and part of the Lower River Shannon SAC) on the R494. 

Project Flythrough Animation


Below is the flythrough video generated from BIM  (Building Information Model) of the Killaloe Bypass, Shannon Bridge Crossing and R494 Upgrade.

Project description

The proposed scheme has been broken down into three sections as follows:

  • Killaloe Bypass: This part of the scheme aims to create a western bypass around the town of Killaloe which will connect the R463 to the north of town with the proposed Shannon Bridge Crossing section and R463 to the south of the town.
  • Shannon Bridge Crossing: This section of the scheme will cross the River Shannon approximately 1km south of the existing Killaloe Bridge and will connect the proposed Killaloe Bypass with the R494.
  • R494 Upgrade: This section will involve widening, regrading and local realignment of the R494 from its junction with the R496 and proposed Shannon Bridge Crossing south of Ballina, as far as the junction with the R445 (previously known as N7) north of Birdhill.

Current status

The Project Team consisting of Clare County Council, Tipperary County Council, Department of Transport (DoT) and scheme Consultants, RPS Consulting Engineers have been progressing the delivery of this significant piece of infrastructure for the Mid-West over the past number of years.

Due to the scale of the project and construction complexities associated with any such crossing of a major river like the Shannon, a three-stage procurement process was adopted.

  • The first stage commenced in December 2019 when a Prior Information Notice (PIN) was published to advise the market that the project was preparing for tender stage.
  • The second stage of the procurement process concluded in late November 2020 where six contractors were shortlisted from those National and International Contractors who expressed an interest in tendering for this project.
  • The third and final stage of the process has seen Tenders for the Main Contract returned on via eTenders the 3rd of November 2021. 

An independent Tender Assessment Board completed the review and quality assessment of the technical submission of the individual tenders.

Following this assessment, the scheme consultants RPS completed a quantitative assessment of the submitted tender prices.  After clarification on some queries raised with the preferred tenderer, the Tender Assessment Report was finalized and issued to the Department of Transport seeking approval to progress with the award of this significant infrastructural project.

Subject to this Approval it is envisaged that the contract will be awarded early 2022 with works expected to commence on site early Spring 2022.

In parallel with the procurement of the Main Works Contractor, Clare County Council have also now completed a number of advance works contracts. These consist of Bat Roost construction, Invasive Species Treatment, Archaeological Investigations, Utility Diversions and Enabling Works, including site clearance, demolition, fencing, etc. with the remainder of these works to be completed early in the New Year ahead of the anticipated Main Contractor start on site.

Clare County Council and its agents have also made significant progress in completing the Land Acquisition process with the majority of agreements now in place and a small number to be concluded early in 2022. 

Natura Impact Statement

Environmental Impact Statements

Further information request from An Bord Pleanála

Page last reviewed: 21/12/21

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