TMS has recently completed road safety audits at pre-tender stage on two national road schemes near Mullingar in Ireland.
The first audit was on the "N4 The Downs" project, which is an on-line improvement of 5.5km of dual carriageway. The current road has numerous central reservation openings, at-grade priority junctions and private accesses, which has resulted in safety being compromised along this high speed strategic route. Collision data has shown that there have been numerous fatal and serious accidents along the stretch, with the majority being concentrated at the junctions and central reservation openings.
The improvement will involve closing all of the central reservation openings and many of the side road accesses and junctions. The retained junctions will have left-in/left-out formats, with drivers being able to U-turn at a new grade separated junction. A new single carriageway road will also provide a link to a regional road.
The second audit was on the "N52 Carrick Bridge to Clonfad" project, which involves constructing 5.6km of off-line single carriageway. The current route is twisty and narrow in nature and currently operates over capacity. Safety is compromised by the sub-standard alignment and by the number of at-grade junctions and private accesses along the existing road. The accident rate is greater than the national average.
The new road will have a much smoother alignment, a wider cross-section and improved junction formats. Overtaking opportunities will also be provided along the new route, reducing driver frustration and improving journey times.
TMS has carried out numerous road safety audits on national road schemes over the last decade, including some of the biggest motorway, road tunnel and light rail projects in Ireland. Though larger projects have diminished in Ireland recently due to the economic climate, TMS is exporting its safety engineering skills to other countries, notably in the Middle East.