Transport Minister Seamus Brennan today expressed confidence the M50 motorway around Dublin will be completed by autumn next year, despite unresolved legal issues surrounding work on the historic Carrickmines Castle site.
Mr Brennan said Environment Minister Martin Cullen was close to finalising legislation aimed at allowing building work to resume on the site after a High Court Judge ordered it to stop following an objection by campaigners.
He said completion of the south-eastern section of the motorway was vital to the future prosperity of the capital.
“The completion of the entire motorway route, including the Carrickmines section, is of vital importance to the overall transport strategy for Dublin,” Mr Brennan said.
“It is a key ingredient in the plan to significantly improve conditions for road users and to unclog the traffic bottlenecks that ensnare tens of thousands of cars at peak times.
“The route will also open up an important economic corridor.”
Mr Brennan said the completion of the full motorway would combine with a number of other major initiatives, including the opening of the Dublin Port Tunnel and the doubling of bus corridors, to tackle congestion.
“I am confident that the motorway can be completed by Autumn 2005 once the legal issues relating to the archaeological works at Carrickmines are resolved,” he said.
“The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government is well-advanced in preparing legislation to rectify the Carrickmines issue.”
The Government moved to advance new legislation after the High Court struck down the Environment Minister’s approval of works involving the destruction or removal of medieval remains at Carrickmines Castle as unconstitutional.
Mr Brennan discussed the matter as he opened a 2km road that will provide direct access from the M50 South Eastern Motorway into Sandyford Business Park, where 10,000 people are employed.
The Drummartin Link Road is the first section of the M50 South Eastern Motorway to be opened.
Upon its scheduled completion next year, the 9km South Eastern Motorway project will complete Dublin’s motorway by-pass, linking the M11 to the M1.