A STONE culvert dating back to the 1850s has been uncovered as work progresses on the Dunkettle Interchange.
Transport Infrastructure Ireland recently published the contract for the main Dunkettle upgrade project that is expected to take 12 months to be assessed and awarded.
In the meantime, work is continuing on a new slip road which will connect the Lower Glanmire Road to the M8 Dublin Motorway, bypassing the roundabout.
Construction of this new slip road is due to take place in February 2020 and, in preparation, the Dunkettle Interchange Project has been conducting an investigation of ground conditions in the area.
In doing this, a stone drainage culvert has been discovered. The culvert was constructed as part of the Cork -Youghal railway and was flushed in a video survey undertaken by the project recently.
The section running through the heart of the Dunkettle site was the first to open, in 1859, running from Dunkettle to Midleton.
Railway carriages arriving in Cork were drawn over temporary tracks by horses until the opening of the official city terminus at Summerhill in 1861.
The engineer on the railway project was none other than the renowned Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
Brunel was one of the most skilled and audacious engineers of the 19th century, working on projects such as the Great Western Railway, the Clifton Suspension Bridge across the River Avon as well as designing several famous ships like the ‘Great Western’, the ‘Great Britain’ and the ‘Great Eastern’.
The project team found the culvert to be in excellent condition and described it as “an admirable feat of engineering from 160 years ago.”