Dubliners warned major electricity upgrade could cause traffic disruption for five years

Traffic disruption could last up to five years during the major upgrade

Amy Blaney

Dubliners are being warned of “considerable” traffic disruption as EirGrid launched plans to install more than 50km of underground cables across the city.

The major upgrade to the electricity infrastructure is expected to cause disruption, particularly in areas of south Dublin, which could last for over five years.

EirGrid’s proposal involves installing five new underground cable routes to provide upgraded links between substations across Dublin.

The new routes will link substations at North Wall and Poolbeg, Finglas and North Wall, Carrickmines and Poolbeg, and two cables will link the Inchicore and Poolbeg substations.

A new substation will be constructed in Poolbeg, as well as upgrading of existing substations.

EirGrid has identified 12 possible route options for the cables to try and minimise disruption during works.

Consultations have been launched for members of the public to share their views on each route, and will remain open for eight weeks until May 23.

Following the consultation period and site inspections, the five “best performing” routes will be chosen. These may change slightly due to existing utilities in the ground or potential disruption to communities.

The plans are likely to cause major traffic disruption across parts of the city, in particular in areas of south Dublin.

EirGrid has said a “considerable amount of roadworks” will be required to carry out the installation, impacting residents and local businesses.

Several route options are proposed along Sandymount’s Strand Road linking the Poolbeg substation to Carrickmines and Inchicore.

The Strand Road has been subject to ongoing issues in relation to noise levels and a dispute over the council’s plans to install a cycle path.

Irish Water recently placed a single-lane traffic restriction on the road due to a water main being replaced.

EirGrid has proposed 12 route options for underground cables across Dublin

Route options are also proposed linking Finglas to the North Wall station through the north inner city. Options have also been proposed to link the Poolbeg substation to Inchicore via south inner city routes.

Two options have been proposed to link the Carrickmines substation with Poolbeg. The first along the Strand Road to UCD via Goatstown and Sandyford, and the second via the Strand Road to Blackrock.

The upgrade to the electricity infrastructure, almost 50 years old in parts, will enable more electricity generated from renewable sources, including offshore wind farms.

The programme of works is expected to begin next year after five routes have been chosen from the possible 12.

Sinéad Dooley, Head of Public Engagement with EirGrid, said: “The Powering Up Dublin programme will help deliver a consistent and reliable supply of electricity for Dublin.

“Work must be done now to ensure the city’s electricity infrastructure is fit for purpose, resilient and will endure long into the future.

“As we work towards a low carbon future that will see up to 80pc of electricity coming from renewable sources by 2030, it is crucial that Dublin’s energy infrastructure has the capacity to bring huge amounts more electricity from new offshore windfarms planned for the east coast to meet the growing demands in the city.

“We want to work with the public and listen to local voices who know their areas best, so that we can collaborate as much as possible and minimise the disruption caused to them,” she added.