CABINET approval for upgrades to the Dunkettle Interchange (N8/N25) is expected in the coming weeks which will allow the main body of works to be carried out.
Over the past year advance preparatory works, such as moving the ESB duct, along with the water and gas mains, have been ongoing to allow the full upgrade which will take three years to be completed.
The €120m project, which was first announced in 2011, has met a few bumps along the way, with the original contract with Sisk terminated as the sides could not agree on the cost of the much-needed works.
Sisk carried out preliminary work and designs on the project. However, there was a stipulation that the State could seek new tenders if the contractor and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) could not agree on a price for the construction phase of the project.
It was confirmed in August 2019 that this was the case, and the project was tendered, this time 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.
Speaking at County Hall, Director of Roads Padraig Barrett said they expect the contract to be awarded in the final quarter of this year.
“Dunkettle was tendered successfully, after that, it went to Government. The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has approved the project, it is now with Cabinet, so the decision is with Cabinet whether to proceed or not.”
Mr Barrett added: “It is a critical piece of infrastructure for Cork. It’s critical for the development of East Cork and the development of the entire region so we are hopeful that the cabinet will approve that. Once it is approved, we are ready, TII are ready to tender straight away. It’s a big project, it’s a three-year project, but we will see sections opening by 2022.