Bord Pleanála is to make a decision on April 13 on whether it will grant or refuse planning permission for the €180m upgrade of the Cork-Ringaskiddy road.
However, Cork County Council engineers are ploughing ahead with tender documents for the project, so, if the green light is given, there won’t be any hold-up with the plan.
Tom Stritch, the council’s director of roads, said that the Government has made €300,000 available to the local authority, this year, to progress that phase of the project.
Mr Stritch said that they are progressing it, “in the hope of a positive outcome from Bord Pleanála”, which held a lengthy hearing on the project late last year.
Many objections were heard from residents living along the proposed, new motorway route, especially near the Broomfield interchange, at Rochestown.
They claim they are already suffering from excessive noise levels and are fearful of increased diesel emissions.
The Port of Cork cannot realise the full potential of its plans for a €75m upgrade of its cargo-handling terminal at Ringaskiddy, if the new motorway (M28) is not built.
The motorway is needed to handle what is predicted to be a 40% increase in average daily traffic and a leap in freight numbers, from 700 to 3,900 trucks, by 2035, primarily due to road freight transport coming in and out of the upgraded Ringaskiddy cargo-handling docks.
If the motorway gets the green light, there will be no traffic lights on the main road between Dublin and Cork.
Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) plans to remove the signalised roundabout at the north of the Jack Lynch Tunnel, as part of a major revamp of that junction to speed up traffic flow.
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