It is the most recent phase of an ongoing endeavour to improve communication between the midwest and the south.
Between the two cities, a 200-meter-wide corridor has been identified where the road will eventually be built.
Along the way, interchanges that would direct traffic to places like Charleville and Mallow are also being announced by planners.
This will determine the N/M20 road project's eventual path.
By the end of the following year, the engineers want to present the idea to the government, after which they will formally apply for planning permission with An Bord Pleanála.
It is anticipated that construction on the route won't start for several years.
“Inter-modal” is how the Limerick City and County Council describes their proposal.
It strives to be future-proofed to take into consideration any developments in regard to environmental goals over the next few decades. It permits cycleways and electric car charging stations.
The path will also be extended from 80 to 100 km in order to facilitate greater walking and bicycling, as well as better public transportation links, freight hubs, and transportation hubs.
The interchange between automobiles and public transportation, HGV parking, and EV charging stations while travelling is made easier by the architecture of the freight and transportation hubs.
Completing it will cost well over €1 billion.
To strengthen rail connections, Íarnród Éireann has also been urged to take into consideration a “no change hourly service” between the two cities, which is anticipated to raise demand for train transportation to and from both sites.
These adjustments come after a thorough review of the route by the public and considering the changing environmental, transport, and climate policies at the national and EU levels.
Better road connections between the second and third biggest cities were initially suggested in 1998, when it was believed that the two cities' inadequate connectivity was impeding economic growth and acting as a suitable counterpoint to the sprawl and congestion of the larger Dublin region.
It was added as a strategic component to the national development plan in 2006, but the economic slump caused it to be completely abandoned in 2011.
Nonetheless, it is currently a major component of the government's Project 2040, and the county councils of Limerick and Cork have both aggressively advanced project development in recent years.
Along with the inefficient travel times and the economic need for improved connection between the two cities, there were significant safety issues over the road, which sees between 15,000 and 20,000 cars every day.
300 residential homes and over 625 connections were found along the route.
Between 2011 and 2018, when the project was put on hold, there were seventeen traffic fatalities and thirty-six crashes resulting in serious injuries.
There was also confirmation that altering the route was critically necessary for safety, as these catastrophic crashes often resulted in several casualties.
There has been some opposition to the plan to construct a safer and more effective route connecting the two cities, especially from farmers and other landowners whose holdings will be impacted by the new road's construction.
Input from farms, homeowners, and businesses is still being collected by the Department of Transport, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, and both councils.
The project's draught design isn't expected until the second quarter of 2025, and the final design and fence line aren't expected until at least the end of 2024, so it will be some time before requesting government permission for planning not until 2025.