Road upgrade could give €400m project go-ahead

CORK County Council is planning to upgrade a feeder road to the Jack Lynch Tunnel which could ultimately result in O’Flynn Construction finally getting permission for a €400 million project on the eastern outskirts of Cork city.

The council has today published a list of Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO) for land it needs to upgrade the road from the AIB branch in Glanmire village to North Esk. The proposed landbank runs directly past Dunkettle House where Michael O’Flynn proposes to build 1,200 houses.

Bord Pleanála has twice refused O’Flynn Construction permission for the project, primarily because of the pressure extra traffic generated by the houses would put on the roads network in the area.

The National Roads Authority (NRA) objected to the O’Flynn plan on the grounds it would not only put more pressure on local roads, but also the Jack Lynch Tunnel/Dunkettle roundabout interchange which currently copes with 95,000 vehicles daily. However, the NRA recently revealed plans to upgrade the interchange, which could cost up to €100 million.

The NRA engineers held a public exhibition in Little Island where they unveiled five different options to upgrade the major interchange.

If that upgrade goes ahead and the road running adjacent to Dunkettle House is also improved, then it would appear the obstacles to O’Flynn Construction’s plans would be overcome.

County engineer Noel O’Keeffe said “slivers” of people’s front gardens would have to be acquired from the AIB branch to North Esk in order to widen that road.

“The road is badly substandard and we have to widen it and put in footpaths,” the county engineer said.

He added that the council had eight months to negotiate terms with the landowners before proceeding to purchase the ground it needs.

However, Mr O’Keeffe added that the project would only commence if the necessary funding was made available by the Government.


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