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Commuter chaos in Dublin as track laying begins for Luas Cross City project


TRACK laying on the €368m Luas Cross City project begins today, and will lead to disruption for motorists.

The National Transport Authority said that construction works will begin on Dublin’s O’Connell Street, close to the Spire, followed by more works beginning in September at the junction of Middle Abbey Street, Hawkins Street, College Green and Dawson Street.

The College Green Bus Gate will be closed from next Monday to private cars between 7am and 7pm on weekdays, to allow tracks to be laid.

While there will be disruption, director of transport investment at the NTA, Hugh Creegan, said the works represented a “major milestone”.

“There is no doubt that some disruption will occur while the construction is on-going, but with our commitment to open communications and to efficient project management we intend that the city will continue to function effectively around the works,” he said.

“The prize at the end – a substantially improved network of transport services across our entire capital region – will be worth it.”.

The 5.6km Luas Cross City will link the Red and Green lines, and add another 10 million passenger journeys per year.

The works include track laying, installing new paving and overhead lines, and construction of new stops.

The proposed route reinstates a transport corridor in the northwest of the city centre along the former Broadstone railway cutting and provides increased access to the communities of Phibsborough and Cabra as well as the DIT campus facility at Grangegorman.

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe said that linking the lines would add to the public transport system.

“I’m delighted to witness today the start of the main track laying works for Luas Cross City which represents the ‘missing link’ in the creation of a Luas network for Dublin,” he said.

“I am also very pleased that the project is expected to come in on time and within budget. While a project of this scale will inevitably involve some level of disruption, communication and co-operation between those responsible for the delivery of the project and stakeholders means that this is being kept to a minimum.”

The works will be completed in 2017, but will be suspended in March and April next year for the 1916 Centenary Commemorations.