The Government of the Republic of Ireland has reportedly allocated $582m (€525m) to upgrade its regional and local roads.

The government is increasing road funding by more than 8% this year. The funds will enable the maintenance of around 2,700km of roads and the strengthening of 2,300km of roads, reported

Irish Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross was quoted by the website as saying: “Well maintained roads are crucial to road safety, to saving lives and to minimising road collisions. Road fatalities and injuries can be cut drastically by smart investment in better roads.”

In addition, road improvement schemes have been allocated funding of $53.2m (€48m).

Two net domestic product (NDP) projects expected to finish in 2020 are Sallins By-Pass and Sligo Western Distributor Road.

Among a few NDP projects expected to commence construction this year include the Coonagh to Knockalisheen upgrade, the Athy Southern Distributor Road and the Bettystown to Laytown Link Road.

Ross added: “In light of the 2018 condition study of regional roads, I will also continue the pilot scheme, which targets highly trafficked wide former national roads which are in poor condition. Funding for this work has increased to €7 million for 2020.

“Ring-fenced funding for the Community Involvement Scheme was introduced in 2018. A new two-year work programme under the scheme is starting this year and I can confirm that €16 million will be allocated to the scheme in 2020.”

Further provisions have been made for 315 bridge rehabilitation schemes and 297 safety improvement projects.

This safety improvement scheme will focus on roads witnessing frequent accidents.

Approximately $270m (€245m) will be allocated for road pavement strengthening works, $75m (€68m) for surface dressing and $15m (€14m) for bridge rehabilitation works.