Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe

Managing Director
Kildare County Council
JV Partner
AECOM (Phases 1-7)
€27m target cost


Roughan & O’Donovan-AECOM acted as consultant engineers on this project consisting of a 3.4km urban arterial road largely following the line of the disused Athy-Wolfhill railway to the south of Athy town centre. 

The commission includes detailed design, procurement, construction supervision and contract administration.

The design incorporates:

  • A new 80m single span crossing of the River Barrow
  • Refurbishment and repurposing of an existing disused railway bridge 
  • A new crossing of the Dublin-Waterford railway


Traffic patterns

ROD–AECOM developed both macro-simulation and micro-simulation traffic models to assess the optimum solution to traffic congestion on the N78 through Athy.

Constraints and route selection studies

We undertook constraints and route selection studies of routes to the north and south of Athy, which were assessed in accordance with the Common Appraisal Framework headings of economy, safety, environment, integration, accessibility and social inclusion.

Preferred Route

Following the publication of the Route Selection Report in August 2016, we further developed the preferred route.  This culminated in the publication of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Natura Impact Statement (NIS) and Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) in April 2017. 


Roughan & O'Donovan-AECOM provided expert witness testimony in support of the proposed development at an oral hearing in July 2017.

An Bord Pleanála granted planning consent and CPO approval for the scheme in October 2017, without the imposition of any additional conditions. 

  • We have not read such a superbly crafted witness statement that dealt with the submissions/objections in such a seamless manner. It should be a template for everyone going forward.

    Michelle Doyle

    Partner, McCann Fitzgerald Solicitors


The River Barrow SAC

Developing a bridge solution that minimised impacts on the qualifying interests of the River River Barrow SAC represented a challenge.

Asbestos materials

Athy has a manufacturing past that produced asbestos materials, and there are a number of known asbestos disposal sites in the town.  During the route selection phase, the known sites were identified, and the route options were designed to avoid impacts on these sites. 

The ground investigation works undertaken as part of the preliminary design sought to determine the extent of a known asbestos disposal area located adjacent to the scheme and whether any previously unknown sites existed along the route. 

Latest developments

Works have been progressing in Athy, with an advance works contract carried out to install the Bennetsbridge Stream culvert and fencing and walling between the N78 and Fortbarrington Road.

Other enabling contracts to facilitate the main construction works include:

  • rail removal contract
  • advance fencing contract
  • diversion of a 315mm diameter gas main
  • diversion of the 110kV overhead high voltage ESB powerline.

The preparation of tender documents for the main construction works is also progressing while the first stage of the procurement phase is currently being undertaken to shortlist contractors who will be invited to tender for the construction of the scheme.

Services provided:

  • Multi-disciplinary ecological surveys
  • Screening for Appropriate Assessment
  • Stage 2 Appropriate Assessment (Natura Impact Statement)
  • All assessments for, and the preparation of, the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
  • Advance contracts, including topographical survey and geotechnical investigation
  • Design of all roadworks elements
  • Design of an 80m single span bridge crossing of the River Barrow and a two span crossing of the Dublin-Waterford Railway
  • Economic and Project Appraisal in line with Government requirements for Capital Works
  • Development of land requirements, including the preparation of Compulsory Acquisition plans, schedules and forms
  • Statutory approvals
  • Detailed design
  • Procurement
  • Construction supervision
  • Contract administration

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