Saturday 24 August 2019

Proposal to tackle traffic bottleneck 'faces delay'

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Ralph Riegel

A €100M plan to tackle one of Ireland's worst traffic bottlenecks could be delayed by up to two years.

Developers and business groups warned about the serious consequences of any delays to the Dunkettle Interchange works on the main Dublin-Cork motorway and the approach to the Jack Lynch tunnel.

The revelation came as Cork TD Jonathan O'Brien said details he had obtained via a Freedom of Information request indicate the project could now be delayed by between 18 months and two years.

It is understood the delays are linked to potential cost increases on the project which had initially been estimated at €100m but are now priced at €115m-plus.

The Sinn Féin TD has called on Transport Minister Shane Ross to clarify the situation as he warned information from both the Department of Transport and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) raised clear fears the project could be delayed for up to two years or even cancelled in its current form.

More than 100,000 people use the Dunkettle Interchange daily with transport officials acknowledging the road was never designed for the volume of traffic it is currently handling.

It handles the main approach routes to Cork city from Dublin and Waterford/Rosslare.

"With over 100,000 people using it every day it is congested, not fit for purpose and requires this upgrade to ensure Cork is positioned to prosper in the future," said Mr O'Brien.

Developer Michael O'Flynn said the Government's plan to massively expand Cork city over the next 25 years hinges on the Dunkettle Interchange works. He said the severe congestion on the route will operate as "a choke-hold on Cork's development".

Irish Independent

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