A 7km stretch of roadway between Abbeyfeale in Co Limerick and Castleisland in Co Kerry was officially opened today by the Minister of State for Transport, Pat the Cope Gallagher.

It stretches from Feales Bridge in the townland of Kilkinlea at Abbeyfeale to Ballyduff in Knocknagoshel, Co Kerry.

The road is designed to make the route safer as it cuts out the notorious Headley’s Bridge near Knocknagoshel, the scene of many road accidents.

It cost €34 million and construction began in February 2005.

It has been completed in advance of its projected date in September.

It adds another significant section of improved roadway on the N21, the main route from Limerick to Tralee and Killarney, and will provide a vital tourist and commercial artery in Kerry's road network and in the whole southwest.

Future developments along this route include by-passes of Castleisland as well as a 33km stretch of new road that will bypass the towns of Abbeyfeale and Newcastlewest, along with a by-pass of the village of Adare.