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Last Updated: Monday, 9 June, 2003, 13:55 GMT 14:55 UK
Bypass 'to cut journey times'
Suspension bridge over the River Boyne
Motorists will cross a suspension bridge that spans the River Boyne
A toll road designed to ease traffic congestion on the main route between Belfast and Dublin has opened in County Louth.

Irish Transport Minister Seamus Brennan officially opened the Drogheda bypass on Monday.

Mr Brennan said the road was a "symbol of reconciliation" between the two parts of Ireland.

About 15,000 vehicles are expected to be diverted from the County Louth town's centre each day.

It is hoped the road will speed up journey times by up to 30 minutes.
Toll booths
Car: 1.50 euro
Motorcycle: 0.80 euro
Bus/coach: 2.70 euro
HGV: 3.80 or 4.90 euro

The 21km road runs from Monasterboice, County Louth to Gormanstown in County Meath, connecting the existing Dunleer and Balbriggan bypasses.

Motorists will cross a suspension bridge which spans the River Boyne.

The Irish Republic's longest cable stay bridge was built over the river to preserve the environment and heritage of an area which is close to the site of the 1690 battle.

Car drivers will be charged 1.50 euro, and there is no facility for payment in sterling.
Opening ceremony
The benefits of the road here are that you could cut that journey time by maybe 15 to 20 minutes
John Iliff
Resident engineer

Project resident engineer John Iliff said the road would be good for the economy on both sides of the border, as well as the environment.

"With the route through Drogheda at the moment, you could be delayed by 30 to 40 minutes at peak time," he said.

"The benefits of the road here are that you could cut that journey time by maybe 15 to 20 minutes."

"The other benefit that we have to look at is the safety implication - we are obviously opening up a much safer route for traffic, and that can only be of benefit to all road users."

BBC Newsline's Chris Capper
"The motorway includes a spectacular bridge over the River Boyne"

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