A 100m transformation of the busiest road junction in Cork will breathe new life into the region and create much-needed jobs, industry leaders said today.
The traffic-choked Dunkettle Interchange used by 95,000 motorists daily will become a completely free-flow junction, with looping flyovers and slip roads, under plans unveiled by the National Roads Authority (NRA) yesterday.
The multi-million euro scheme has been compared to the complete revamp of the traffic bottleneck at the Red Cow in Dublin, where a congested roundabout was replaced with slip roads and flyovers to ensure traffic flowed freely.
Consultants working on behalf of the NRA revealed five different options for Dunkettle yesterday.
The final project to be chosen by September could include up to 10 bridges, with looping flyovers, new access routes to Little Island and Glounthane and a completely new roundabout adjacent to the existing Dunkettle Interchange. Construction of the project will begin in 2014 if funding is secured.
This would follow the completion of the flyovers at the Bandon and Sarsfield Road roundabouts.
The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has warmly welcomed the plans, saying it will create hundreds of much-needed jobs in the beleaguered construction sector.
CIF director Joe O’Brien said: “It is vital that the Dunkettle Interchange is upgraded. We’re very anxious to ensure that funding is forthcoming for this project.
“Apart from the flyovers at the Bandon and Sarsfield Road roundabouts, the NRA has no other major infrastructure planned for the Cork region.
“The jobs that this project would create are badly needed.”
Port of Cork chief executive Brendan Dempsey said a free flow Dunkettle Interchange would be welcomed by all businesses in the city and county.
“Anything that will ease congestion at that interchange is to be warmly welcomed by all,” he said.
The upgraded Dunkettle could also aid the Port of Cork’s plan to move its operations to Ringaskiddy.
The Port will apply for planning permission later this year or early 2012 for a scaled down investment on a new lower harbour container facility in Ringaskiddy.
The Port’s previous application to create the container terminal at Oyster Bank in Ringaskiddy was refused by An Bord Pleanála, which cited a lack of a rail connection and proper road infrastructure.
Article courtesy of the Evening Echo newspaper