A CONTRACTOR for the main construction of the Dunkettle Interchange project is set to be appointed by September.
The development involves the reconfiguration of the existing Dunkettle Interchange to become more free flowing by removing several sets of traffic lights and creating new slip roads.
Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) confirmed to The Echo that there had been an extension given to the timeframe for the return of tenders from May to June, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Following the receipt of applications “we will drive to have the assessment done and aspire to award the tender by September,” a spokesperson for TII told The Echo.
This contract involves the “heavy construction and making the interchange free flow east, west, north and south.”
This deadline comes following previous delays to the project.
Contractors Sisk were originally awarded a NEC3 contract, which saw the company carried out preliminary work and designs on the project, with details on how the construction would take place.
However, within that type of contract there is a stipulation that the State could seek new tenders if the contractor and TII could not agree on a price for the construction phase of the project.
It was confirmed in August 2019 that an agreement couldn’t be reached by both parties, 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.
Advance works at the Dunkettle Interchange have been stopped on site due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with just some drainage maintenance taking place to ensure the interchange stays open.
Despite this, TII anticipate that these works will be completed by September.
However, TII have said there is no start date in place yet for the main building works on the project: “We’ll be able to assess that in the coming weeks and months. It’s a matter of how the contractor will commence the work and what their plan is.”
The proposed Dunkettle Interchange 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.
Four roundabouts, 52 structures of various forms, and pedestrian and cyclist facilities are also included.
Up to 100,000 vehicles passed through the Dunkettle Interchange every day, before the covid-19 restrictions came into force.