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N59 Road Upgrade Scheme, Maam Cross, Co Galway

The project involved five kilometres of offline/online road re-alignment on the national route N59 Maam Cross to Bunnakill. It forms part of the overall N59 Maam Cross-Oughterard proposed road development and will upgrade the existing N59 National Secondary Road between Maam Cross and Oughterard to a Type 3 Single Carriageway and all ancillary works. MKO was commissioned by Clare Civil Engineering (CCE) to fulfil the role of Project Environmental Manager for this development during its construction phase.

Maam Cross 3

Maam Cross 4

Maam Cross 1

Maam Cross 2

Maam Cross 5

Project challenges

The site is east of Maam Cross in Co. Galway and immediately adjacent to Lough Shindilla. The existing road from the east passes through the catchment for the Corrib-Owenriff Freshwater Pearl Mussel (a population listed in the European Communities Environmental Objectives (Freshwater Pearl Mussel) Regulations 2009. The N59 Maam Cross to Bunnakill development is located outside this catchment but the development was required to be undertaken to a high standard to ensure no impact on the pearl mussel population.

Mountain ranges and hills, including the Maumturk Mountains and Knockletterfore Hills, with boglands and several small lakes between the existing road and the footings of these highlands, dominate the northern side of the existing N59.

The southern side of the existing N59 is dominated by boglands pockmarked with lakes. Several hills are dispersed along the route, forming a backdrop to the generally flat landscape – notably Halfcartron Hill, Knockmore Hill, Derryfadda Hill and Knockalee Hill.

Main services provided

MKO provided several professionals to fulfil the various roles within the environmental management elements of the works.


Environmental Clerk of Works (Ecow)

Responsibility for providing and updating a construction and environmental management plan, site supervision, review and approval of works method statements, water quality inspections, monitoring and sampling for water quality and laboratory analysis.


Environmental Compliance

Reports at regular intervals throughout the works.


Invasive species and bat surveys

The scope of work included the undertaking invasive species surveys, reports and management plans, bat surveys, slender cotton grass surveys and the translocation of protected species with the provision of all appropriate licensing.

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