The estimated 2027 completion date for the M28 motorway to port facilities in Ringaskiddy is unacceptable, the Construction Industry Federation has said.
The CIF representing construction firms said the motorway is vital in the context of trading routes with continental Europe following Brexit and the unlocking of city centre land in Tivoli for residential development.
In its election manifesto for the Cork region, the CIF outlined a range of infrastructure projects it says are needed and said it is vital that commencement dates and project timescales are given for a range of projects including a light rail system for the city, the Dunkettle interchange upgrade, the event centre, the city flood defences, the M20 Cork to Limerick motorway, and the northern ring road.
The manifesto points out that the Cork region accounts for over 12% of the output of the construction industry and employs over 16,000 people.
“Cork’s population and employment levels have increased significantly in recent years and now more than ever public infrastructural investment needs to keep pace with a growing employment and population base,” states the manifesto.
The Port of Cork is in the process of moving port operations from Tivoli to Ringaskiddy in the lower harbour.
The M28 motorway and Dunkettle interchange projects are considered vital to allowing the moving of freight in and out of Ringaskiddy.
The CIF also said the public spending code published by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform must be revised so that there are fewer steps in the process of approval and time frames for decision making on major projects.
“The code should recognise the need for greater investment in regional infrastructure projects and that projects in the regions are not put at risk due to very large proposals in the Dublin region,” says the document.
Housing in Cork has also been raised by the CIF in advance of the general election on February 8.
It said there is an annual requirement for 3,500 residential units in Cork, but only 2,000 are being produced.
“Most costs are fixed costs with limited ability to achieve reductions or savings. The construction industry will be able to deliver more affordable units in the price range of €240,000 to €320,000 in the Cork region if the variable costs such as taxes and charges are reduced,” said the CIF.
The CIF also said the next government must invest in water and wastewater infrastructure for zoned lands by directly funding local authorities.