New bypass to open by mid-july
POOR WEATHER DELAYS €97M PROJECT
THE Tralee bypass is expected to open to traffic in mid July according to management at BAM, the contractors responsible for the multi million Euro project.
Work on the new bypass began in June 2011 and when completed it will include an 8km dual carriageway to the east of Tralee, as well as a 5.5km link road from the bypass to the N22 Killarney Road at Bealagreallagh.
Though originally scheduled to open in mid May 2013 poor weather and environmental issues, including flooding on sections of the site and holes and weaknesses in the limestone bedrock that lies under much of the new route, have led to delays in completing the project.
Despite these unforeseen delays management at BAM are confident that the €97 million project will be complete and ready for use by mid-July at the latest.
As the delays in completing the project were caused by weather and environmental factors, which were beyond the control of BAM, it is unlikely the firm will face any significant financial penalties for going over schedule.
Though weather, especially heavy rain, does have potential to cause some further minor delays only a major drop in temperature could cause any significant delays according to BAM. However with only relatively small dips in temperature forecast, the company are confident that weather should not pose too much of a problem.
With six months to go before the projected opening date, the majority of the road is now in place and the the first layers of tarmac have already been laid on long stretches of the bypass extensive road system.
Work on the project also saw the construction of three bridges, including one of the Tralee Killarney rail line, the building of seven new roundabouts and the diversion of a small stretch of the River Lee close to Camp.
During construction of the bypass, residents in the Ballinorig area had voiced concerns that work on the bypass was one of the root causes of significant flooding in area which threatened several homes.
BAM Tralee Bypass Project Manager, Liam Beausang, said that flood attenuation measures, including the creation of a channel to divert flood waters away from the affected area, had now been completed and should be sufficient to deal with any future flooding following heavy rain.