Cabinet expected to approve tender for Dunkettle Interchange project tomorrow

Cabinet expected to approve tender for Dunkettle Interchange project tomorrow

The Cobh to Cork train passes as work on the Dunkettle interchange takes place in Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

APPROVAL is expected to be granted tomorrow to allow the Dunkettle Interchange project go ahead.

The Cabinet is due to discuss the major project tomorrow and grant approval for the tender stage.

It is planned that the contract will be awarded in the final quarter of this year.

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.

Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North Central, Pádraig O'Sullivan, said: "It's a massive step towards the completion of this much needed infrastructure. Outside of Dublin the interchange is the busiest road infrastructure in the country with circa 100k vehicles a day using it.

"It will allow for the future development of Cork City and Harbour area. My information is that the tender is to be discussed and approved at cabinet tomorrow and this will result in a significant saving after the second tender process."

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.

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has approved the project, and it's now before Cabinet for government approval.

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.

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