Safety works set to get underway to allow Waterloo junction to reopen

Safety works to allow for the reopening of a junction on the N20 Cork to Limerick road are set to get underway within weeks.

Cork County Council confirmed yesterday that work on the Waterloo junction to facilitate left-in and left-out traffic only, and to prevent southbound traffic making a right-turn for Blarney, will start before the end of this month and be completed by early February.

The junction was closed last summer to facilitate road resurfacing along a stretch of the N20 at this location.

But it emerged within days that the local authority was working towards a full and permanent closure of the junction in the wake of a number of serious accidents at the junction, including a double fatality involving two US tourists who were directed by satnav to make a right turn at the junction for Blarney.

The Council conducted a safety audit of the junction which outlined three possible options, including a left-in and left-out option.

But full closure was the recommended option and the junction was closed to traffic.

The way the closure was implemented sparked an intense local campaign to secure the reopening of the junction.

Council engineers have been working for several weeks on the left-in left-out option and confirmed yesterday that work to implement that will start within weeks.

Meanwhile, advance works on a major capacity improvement project at the Little Island Interchange are due to get underway in February.

John Sisk and Son Ltd, the main contractor for the Dunkettle interchange upgrade works, has been appointed to work on the Little Island scheme.

Survey works already underway on site with construction set to start on February 11.

Additional slip lanes will be added in a number of areas but the main focus of the works will be on increasing the number of traffic lanes on the interchange overbridge from three to four.

Engineers expect the works will be completed by June.

A spokesman said: “No significant traffic impacts are anticipated in the short term but the interchange overbridge works will be particularly difficult."

Separately, the construction of footpaths and road resurfacing in the Silversprings area to regularise traffic lanes on the recently revamped stretch of road will start on January 21, under night-time working conditions and should be finished by mid-February.

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