High hopes N4 funding will be announced in this afternoon’s budget

There are high hopes this morning that the money for the new N4 route between Collooney and Castlebaldwin will at last be included in today’s budget.

If the N4 funding is announced, it will be a major milestone in a long campaign for the upgrade of a dangerous stretch of road on which about 30 people have lost their lives in the past three decades.

The project, estimated to cost in the region of €100m, is expected to be part of an overall budget allocation for capital investment.

However, it’s thought it may be tomorrow before specific items in the capital programme will be officially confirmed.

The Fine Gael Mayor of Sligo, Cllr Hubert Keaney, declined to say if the funding would be announced today but said he had ‘strong hopes’ there would be significant capital investment for infrastructure in Sligo.

Tender documents for what will be one of the biggest road schemes in the country are expected to be ready by the end of next month.

If money is provided for the N4, actual construction work could start in 2019 or 2020.

But for now, all eyes will be on this afternoon’s budget speech.

Sligo Leitrim Fianna Fail TD Marc MacSharry is among those hoping the money will finally be coming: