M1 Motorway (Republic of Ireland) - Route


The N1 begins at Bachelors Walk, part of the Dublin quays, where it connects to the N4. From here it follows O'Connell Bridge, O'Connell Street, Parnell Street, Parnell Square West, Granby Row, Dorset Street Upper (and via North Frederick Street, Parnell Square East and Cavendish Row), Dorset Street Lower, Drumcondra Road and the Swords Road. At Whitehall, the road follows the route of the former M1 Airport Motorway (this section is now downgraded to single carriageway primary route following the construction of the Dublin Port Tunnel). At the Dublin Port Tunnel portals, the road follows the M50 motorway for 2 km, before the M1 motorway begins at M50 Junction 3. Almost the entire length of the N1 has been upgraded to motorway standard and is designated the M1 motorway. At 80 km it is the second longest stretch of motorway in Ireland, excluding connecting motorways. (The M8 is the longest.) It runs from the northernmost part of the M50 ring road in Dublin, north of Dundalk, bypassing the intermediate towns through which the original route travelled. The original N1 route now forms the R132. On directional roadsigns along the N1 route, the N1 designation is only used for two relatively short sections: between Dublin city centre and Whitehall, and between Ballymascanlon and the Northern Irish border. The motorway section of the N1 uses the M1 designation. Small yellow route markers along the motorway route also read N1.

The motorway was built in several stages as short disconnected bypasses, replacing the original N1 route. The first section opened (in 1983) was from Whitehall to Coolock Lane followed (in 1985) by the Airport Motorway between Whitehall and Dublin Airport, only the third section of motorway opened in Ireland. 1980s style direction signs were still intact on this route up until 2006. Part of this original M1 is now a spur to Dublin Airport, while another part between Whitehall to the Port Tunnel portals is now narrowed to two+one lanes (although still grade separated) as a result of the Dublin Port Tunnel work.

There are toll fees for use of the motorway between junctions 7 and 10, the section which forms the Drogheda bypass. Work began in 2004 on a bypass of Dundalk, and was completed three months ahead of schedule in 2005, extending the motorway to just south of the border.

Construction finished in 2007 on a cross-border stretch of grade-separated dual-carriageway linking the northern end of the M1 with the A1 near Newry in County Armagh. This was opened to traffic on 2 August 2007. Its length is 14 km, 4.6 km north of the border and 9.4 km south of the border. This allows traffic to flow freely from Dublin Port on motorway/dual-carriageway standard road to the Hillsborough Roundabout, located south of Lisburn.

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