Published: 22 May 2018 Source: Evening Echo
THE €100m upgrade of Ireland’s busiest road junction outside of the capital is continuing with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) announcing it has completed site clearance works, while the contractor for the main project is likely to be announced in June.
The busy interchange carries approximately 80,000 to 100,000 cars a day and connects with the M8 to Dublin, N25 to Waterford as well as the Lower Glanmire Road and N40 South Ring. The existing interchange is presently operating significantly above capacity and suffering from severe traffic congestion at peak periods.
Large queues are common on approaches, in particular extending back through the Jack Lynch Tunnel for traffic travelling north along the N25 at peak periods. Traffic travelling from the east and north heading south through the tunnel similarly experiences long delays during peak periods.
The main works involve the roundabout and traffic lights being removed, to allow traffic to flow better and ease congestion.
Heavy construction is expected to begin in the early part of next year, once all preparatory work has been carried out.
In the meantime, pavement remedial works are required to the westbound diverge from the N40 down to the Sarsfield Road Roundabout and these will be carried out from 9pm to 6am on May 21 and 22.
The westbound diverge will be closed on both evenings with the road to be fully reopened by 6am the following morning.
Pavement remedial works are also required to a small section of the Sarsfield Road roundabout circulating carriageway and to a section of the link road from the roundabout westwards towards the Bandon Road Roundabout - but times for work have yet to be confirmed.
Tenders are being accepted for a pavement renewal/general upgrade contract which will be awarded for the Sarsfield Road and is scheduled to get underway in June.
No significant traffic disruption is anticipated as a result of next week’s works and all other preparatory works are being specifically targeted at the summer months, when peak time traffic volumes are lower, with a view to minimising traffic disruption.
A joint statement from Cork City and County Councils and TII said: “As regular commuters will know, the site clearance works at the Dunkettle site have been completed. The next step is to investigate the site from an archaeology point of view and resolve any sites uncovered. The tender process for the main contract is progressing and we now hope to appoint the contractor before the end of June 2018. A four-year delivery period is envisaged with details to follow in future updates.”