Call for capital projects funding

Funding is urgently needed to fast-track essential transport, water and flood defence projects that have stalled, the Construction Industry Federation has said.

It said the Government must significantly increase the public capital programme to get the projects off the ground.

An analysis by Construction Information Services of the top 100 infrastructure projects shows how the recession had ravaged capital investment.

On average, projects have been delayed for three to four years. The projects range from national infrastructure like Dublin Airport to waterworks and roadwork improvements.

Other projects analysed are essential flood defences for towns along the Shannon that should begin immediately. Federation director general Tom Parlon said that the costof about 60% of the projects amounted to €6bn alone — a significant proportion of the Government’s €27bn public capital programme.

Call for capital projects funding

Mr Parlon said the federation was hoping to engage with the Government in the coming months to develop alternative sources of funding for infrastructure.

“Considering that there is only a €10bn allocation for transport, the Construction Industry Federation believes that a number of these essential projects are at risk of being delayed indefinitely,” he said.

“The negative impacts on job creation, balanced regional development and the attraction of foreign direct investment to Cork, Limerick, and Waterford will transform the two-tier recovery into a permanent two-tier economy.”

A significant expansion of the road network occurred during the 1990s and the 2000s, particularly the development of motorways.

“The completion of the regional network connecting urban centres like Waterford, Cork, Limerick, Galway, and Sligo must happen,” said Mr Parlon.

The Government has had ambitious plans to increase housing supply up to 25,000 each year by 2020 but without an increase in investment in infrastructure, there was a risk that the houses would be inadequately serviced by road, rail, water, and broadband.

“We risk creating unsustainable ghost communities in the regions. Unfortunately, reallocating investment from capital projects, like national roads, rail and air transport, to housing- related infrastructure will only exacerbate this issue,” said Mr Parlon.

The EU Commission recently identified significant infrastructural deficiencies in transport, water, and housing because of a decline in investment.


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