The N25 bypass of Waterford City is one of the major toll road schemes currently operating in Ireland. The National Roads Authority (NRA) awarded the project to the Celtic Roads Group, and the bypass opened in 2009.
The scheme comprises 23 km of dual carriageway, along with another 14 km of secondary roads feeding in. It also included the addition of a 475 metre cable stay bridge over the River Suir near Grannagh. The project also includes the introduction of a new connection, called the Western Link. This roadway connects the bypass to the industrial areas located south-west of Waterford.
Part of the planning and preparation for this project included archaeological testing to ensure that the road did not pass through any important sites. The Woodstown Site was discovered along the corridor, and the site was subsequently declared a national monument. To that end, a portion of the route was adjusted.
The Woodstown Site is a defended riverside settlement that dates to somewhere between the 9th and 12th centuries AD. It was inhabited by Viking raiders, who are believed to have used an existing site that was established by native Irish. A range of artefacts were uncovered, including a single warrior grave with full battle armour.
The toll road connects from the N25’s junction with the N29 (to the north-east of Waterford), and it tracks to the west before crossing the River Suir. From here, it approaches the toll collection location.
All of the toll schemes in Ireland are overseen by the National Roads Authority (NRA), and the revenue generated is used to offset the cost of building this new infrastructure as well as to supply for its ongoing maintenance.
Tolls are subject to change over time, and drivers can consult the Celtic Roads Group website for a look at current charges. As of 2013, motor cars are charged €1.90 and motorcycles (greater than 50cc) pay a toll of €1.00. These prices include VAT.The most practical way for tourists and short-termers to pay their toll is in cash. With that in mind, drivers are advised to keep correct change with them in the vehicle. However, eToll protocol are also in place for those who are spending enough time in the country to warrant registering. This method of payment requires fitting the vehicle out with an electronic tag.