The Joe Dolan Bridge, the final link in the Mullingar ring road, has been officially opened.

The bridge is named after the entertainer who hailed from Mullingar and died in 2007 at the age of 68.

The 540m bridge is a two-lane carriageway with footpaths and cycle lanes. It crosses the flood plains of the River Brosna and Lacy's Canal.

It will link the Clonmore Business Park to the Lynn Roundabout on the Tullamore Road.

Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey opened the bridge this morning saying it will make a big difference to local people and businesses as it will 'allow traffic to travel in a complete circle around Mullingar Town' easing traffic congestion.

In a statement, the Department of Transport said the project cost €19m of which a total of almost €13m was provided under the Regional and Local Roads Investment Programme to Westmeath County Council during the period 2006 to 2010.