THE Cabinet has approved the upgrading of the Dunkettle Interchange this morning.
The multi-million euro project, which was first announced in 2011, has not yet proceeded after the original contract with Sisk was terminated as the sides could not agree on the cost of the much-needed works.
The project was tendered last year as a design-build contract. That means that the design and logistics of the build and the process of traffic management, among other issues, are already worked out, and the contractor that's awarded the tender can move forward with construction. Sisk has carried out preliminary work and designs on the project.
The proposed project includes the elements of infrastructure such as a series of roads directly linking main routes such as the N8, N25 and the N40 and links to the R623 Regional Road in Little Island and Burys Bridge in Dunkettle.
Fine Gael TD for Cork North Central, Colm Burke, welcomed the development.
"This is a major road infrastructure project and one that will make a huge difference to commuters and businesses in Cork. The development relates to reconfiguration of the existing Dunkettle Interchange to remove a number of traffic lights and create several slip roads to increase the flow of traffic."
He added: "The progress of this project is testament to the commitment of the Government to the development of the infrastructure of Cork. The opening of the cycleway and pedestrian crossing at the Dunkettle interchange was completed as part of the advance works for the main contract. This is fantastic news for Cork and the local area and I am delighted that we are now in a position to move forward with this crucial project."
The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath, visited the site of the upgrade scheme last month.
The project is expected to take three years to complete.
Preparatory works have already been carried out, including moving the ESB duct, along with the water and gas mains.