The N4 Carrick-on-Shannon to Dromod Project has been prioritised for delivery under the National Development Plan 2018-2027 and is currently being progressed through pre-appraisal and early planning stages. The N4 forms part of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) comprehensive network providing a strategic link between Dublin and Sligo, which was designated a regional centre in the 2018 National Development Plan and National Planning Framework. The N4 connects directly with the N5 and N6 national primary routes which also form part of the EU TEN-T comprehensive road network.
The N4 carries both long-distance traffic from the east of the country to the northwest of the country and significant regional and inter-urban traffic flows between Mullingar, Longford, Carrick-on-Shannon, Boyle, and Sligo and also provides regional connections to the towns of Elphin (R368), Frenchpark (R370) and Manorhamilton (R280).
The section of the N4 under consideration falls within two local authority administrative areas with the River Shannon acting as the boundary. The area to the west of the River Shannon lies within County Roscommon and to the east of the River Shannon within County Leitrim. On behalf of itself and Roscommon County Council, Leitrim County Council is progressing the scheme.
There is currently one crossing point of the River Shannon at Carrick-on-Shannon via a narrow masonry arch bridge, dating from 1846, which is sub-standard in terms of alignment and cross-section. The section of the N4 under consideration passes through both rural and urban environments, is approximately 21km long and extends from Drumharlow townland north of Carrick-on-Shannon to Faulties townland south of Aghamore.
Significant lengths of the N4 have been improved / upgraded to dual carriageway cross-section in the recent past. With these upgrades, especially the opening of N4 Dromod to Roosky bypass, Carrick-on-Shannon has become a bottleneck for long-distance and regional traffic. Carrick-on-Shannon remains the only regional strategic centre on the N4 between Dublin and Sligo which has not been bypassed to date.
There are sections of poor alignment along the built-up areas on the approaches to Carrick-on-Shannon and at Aghamore. There are frequent junctions with local roads and direct frontage accesses which contribute to a high number of accidents in the area.