N56/N13 Letterkenny to Manorcunningham Upgrades, Donegal


Construction scheme (future)
To upgrade the N13 between Letterkenny and Manorcunningham, County Donegal with improvements to the N13 south of Letterkenny and a new road link to the N56 Letterkenny Bypass.
Total Length
6.3 km / 3.9 miles of main roads plus 2.3 km (1.4 miles) of link roads

Dec 2017 Feasibility report published
Feb 2019 Route options published

Jan 2020 Preferred route announced
2023 Included in the draft County Donegal Development Plan 2024-2030

2023 Business case due to be approved by Department of Transport
2026 Earliest possible start of construction (as of May 2022)


100-125m (as of 2022) - to be funded via the TEN-T Priority Route Improvement Project, Donegal

See Also

General area map
Official web site on scheme

Click here to jump straight down to updates for this scheme.

The N13 connects Derry to Ballybofey, passing through Manorcunningham and bypassing Letterkenny to the east en route. At Letterkenny it meets the N56 which carries traffic into the town and onwards to north Donegal. The 2 km stretch of the N13 from the junction with the N14 south of Manorcunningham to Letterkenny was upgraded to a dual-carriageway before 2000 (in the 1990s?) making it the first modern dual-carriageway in Donegal. It is an at-grade dual-carriageway with T-junctions and central reservation crossing points.

This scheme would see this section of road upgraded to improve safety and improve traffic flow. The existing dual-carriageway will be upgraded to have no central reserve crossings, with crossing roads either grade-separated or closed up. Meanwhile, the N13 south of Letterkenny will be realigned onto a new route to meet the upgraded dual-carriageway at a new roundabout. From the same roundabout, a new link road will connect to the existing N56 Letterkenny Bypass. The map below shows the proposed route as of 2020 (click to expand). A more detailed design can be seen in the last few pages of this document.

Map showing a T-arrangement of new and
                            upgraded roads.

The road will include a major bridge over the River Swilly just east of the Letterkenny Bypass. The scheme is one element of three schemes being taken forward together as a single project, the other two being the N13/N15 Ballbofey/Stranorlar Bypass and N14 Manorhamilton to A5 at Lifford/Strabane.


15 Sep 2023: As with the first Donegal scheme I covered, the first point to make is that this is my first attempt to follow a scheme outside Northern Ireland, so if I have made any basic errors please be gentle and let me know roads at wesleyjohnston.com! In particular, if anyone knows the construction date of the existing N13 dual-carriageway at Letterkenny please let me know. At this stage the scheme has a detailed design (see here) but construction is unlikely to begin before 2026. The next couple of years will need to see the scheme taken through the process to obtain planning permission. The scheme also needs a business case signed off, which is expected sometime this year. The current cost estimate is 100-125m at 2022 prices but this is likely to rise due to the recent surge in construction inflation. A reminder that the excellent JP Dowling over at Irish Motorway Info maintains information on new roads across the whole of the Republic.