Tenders sought for Macroom bypass

Cork County Council is to seek tenders for the construction of the €100m Macroom bypass in mid-July.

The council, which is acting as agents on behalf of Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), has advertised the proposed move on the Government’s public tendering process, saying it expects construction of the 22km road to take around three years.

The project was approved in 2011 by Bord Pleanála, along with the Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) to acquire the necessary land. The route corridor has already been fenced off.

The proposed N22 Ballyvourney to Macroom bypass will run from Coolcower roundabout on the Cork side of Macroom and take traffic north of the town, continuing westwards close to the county bounds west of Ballyvourney. A section of the new dual carriageway road will cross the Carrigadhroid Reservoir.

The successful contractor will also have to construct three junctions, five off-line roundabouts and four bridges over the Rivers Sullane, Laney, Foherish and Bohill. The plan also involves a diversion of the River Owengarve.

The dual carriageway will cross the existing N22 in two locations and the project will also include 18 over- and under-bridges and some under-bridges which will be used for cattle and wildlife. In addition, 13 culverts will have to be constructed as part of the project. A number of archaeological surveys have already been carried out along the proposed route.

The county council says the long-term ‘translocation’ of the protected Kerry Slug will have to be undertaken as part of the project and an ecological clerk of works will have to oversee the protection of the protected Freshwater Pearl Mussel which is present in some of the rivers.

Although the county council doesn’t stipulate a start-up date, it is believed it will be some time late next year, or early 2020. If that is the case the road could be opened by the end of 2022.

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