Site clearance works have commenced which signal the start of a €100m upgrade of the busiest road junction outside of Dublin.
Advance works are taking place close to the former Ibis Hotel for the upgrade of Cork’s Jack Lynch Tunnel/ Dunkettle interchange which is used by nearly 100,000 vehicles a day.
The upgrade includes removing the roundabout at the junction and creating a series of new local road links which will separate local traffic from vehicles using the M8 and N40.
Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), which is in charge of the project, says the work is vital to prevent gridlock at the junction in the years ahead.
The interchange is currently running at over-capacity.
The site clearance work is being undertaken to prepare the area to the greatest extent possible for the main works contractor.
The project is currently out to tender and it is hoped that the successful contractor will be appointed within the next few months.
When that is completed, detailed design will be finalised and some construction work may start before the end of 2018.
It is currently envisaged that the project will be completed by the end of 2022.
Meanwhile, duct installation works are continuing along the N40 route as part of the National Broadband Strategy.
The works will continue for a number of months and duct installation will also be required around Dunkettle and the Tivoli flyover.
No daytime lane closures will be required in those areas in the short term.
Fibre optic cables are also being laid in order to provide motorists with real-time information on the project once it is in full swing.
Information on delays and other matters will be transmitted to a series of flashing signs, which will be strategically placed on roads which feed into the area.
A TII spokesman has admitted that during construction, it will be “challenging” to prevent major disruption for commuters.
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