Thursday 19 September 2019

Fury over Dunkettle Interchange project delay

Tadhg Evans

The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has slammed the lack of progress on a number of road projects of huge importance to Cork, labelling them as "a failure on behalf of the Irish national and local political system to deliver any project outside of the greater Dublin area".

CIF cited the Cork-Limerick Motorway, the N28 upgrade connecting the Cork Southern Ring Road to Ringaskiddy, the Northern Ring Road and the Dunkettle Interchange upgrade as crucial projects for Cork and the South of Ireland.

But the CIF has said "most of these are now under threat or facing interminable delays", with the second phase of the €100million Dunkettle project being re-tendered in recent days as the cost of the project is higher than anticipated.

The federation has expressed concern that the decision to re-tender will delay the project, possibly by 10 years, they claim.

"The recent announcement that the Dunkettle Interchange is going back to tender could see a delay of over 10 years in a project that would reduce commuter times, provide ease of access to Port Of Cork's new facility in Ringaskiddy, facilitate the opening up of new lands for sustainable development initiatives in Cork City centre, attract investment, and improve road safety," Conor O'Connell of CIF said.

"The delay to the Dunkettle Interchange is an example of the continuing delay to many projects in the South West region.  

"Over the last 10 years, no strategic infrastructural project has been delivered in the region that has the fastest-growing population and jobs growth outside of the Dublin region, accounting for 20 per cent of GDP."

The CIF has called for a specialist court to be established to make expert decisions quickly in relation to large-scale projects.

It has also said that most delays arise from issues at the design phase of projects.

It has therefore called for the system to change to lessen the prospect of disputes and delays over major infrastructural projects.