It is hoped that revised plans for a €180m road between Cork and Ringaskiddy will ease the fears of some residents’ associations who expressed major concerns with the initial blueprint when it was launched in October.
The initial plan for the 12.5km road from the Bloomfield interchange to Ringaskiddy proposed to close a slip-road connection into Mount Oval and an exit from Maryborough Hill.
Bob O’Shea, project manager with the National Roads Office, said it had been decided to maintain the Mount Oval connection and provide a new junction connecting to Maryborough Hill, which will be just a few hundred yards from the existing one.
Plans to run a connection road through the residential Maryborough Ridge area have also been axed.
“We tried to listen to all the submissions we received and to make it [the plan] more acceptable, while fulfilling the objections of the scheme,” said Mr O’Shea.
He said, however, that it remained unlikely that An Bord Pleanála would choose to hold an oral hearing on the project.
“The earliest date for the start of construction, depending on funding, is probably going to be 2021,” said the senior engineer. It will take two years to complete.
Mr O’Shea was speaking yesterday in the Maryborough House Hotel, Douglas, at the start of a two-day public exhibition on the project.
It will go on display at the Carrigaline Court Hotel today from 2pm to 8pm.
The plan is to construct 10.9km of motorway-standard dual carriageway from Bloomfield to Barnahely and 1.6km of single carriageway from Barnahely to east of Ringaskiddy, which will connect with the Port of Cork container terminal.
The proposed scheme also includes junctions at Bloomfield/Rochestown Road, Carr’s Hill, Shannonpark, and Shanbally, along with new roundabouts at Barnahely, Loughbeg, and Ringaskiddy.
It is also being proposed to locate a motorway services area close to the port in Ringaskiddy.
Mr O’Shea said the current N28 is over capacity, particularly between Bloomfield Interchange and Shannonpark roundabout, leading to considerable delays and queuing at peak times.
He said the new layout will increase overall safety and the capacity of the road to cater for existing and projected future traffic.
Local councillors Mary Rose Desmond and Seamus McGrath, who both attended the exhibition, said they had received positive feedback from residents who were concerned about the initial plan.
Mr O’Shea said he believed that the new proposals represent “the best balance of road safety, [and] social, environmental, and economic issues”.
He said all feedback received as part of the latest public consultation will be reviewed by the project team and the issues raised will be published in a consultation report.
The final design for the motorway scheme will then be further developed to finalise the route alignment and scheme details. It is expected that the final scheme will be put on public display this autumn.
People unable to go to the exhibition can see details of it at n28cork email@example.com
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