A major upgrade to the Cobh Road has been estimated to cost €100m and would possibly be the largest investment made to a regional road project in the country.
County Engineer Padraig Barrett told the Southern Committee that the Cobh Road proposal was a €100m euro project and they had applied to upgrade the infrastructure to national level to avail of increased funding.
“We have applied to upgrade the road to national road status and that is being considered at the moment,” Mr Barrett said.
“€100m is a national road expenditure. I am unaware of any regional road that would require that level of investment, but it is a strategically important route.”
Mr Barrett said the council has had multiple meetings with the Department of Transport in relation to the project and DTTaS has requested a Project Appraisal Plan (PAP) to allow assessment for funding.
“We are revising the Project Appraisal Plan and we will submit it in early 2020,” The engineer said.
In terms of the project, Mr Barrett said “it is not an easy one or a cheap one.
“There are probably three separate phases; there is the Belvelly bridge to Cobh Cross, Belvelly bridge itself and section from the bridge into Cobh.
"Overall it is going to cost €100m euros and for a project of that size, it needs to go through various appraisals.
“We have sat down with the Department on it. They understand the importance of it.”
Mr Barrett said Cork County Council are fully behind the project.
“Cork County Council recognise that it is a strategically important route with port-related activities and the cruise business and Cobh itself which has been identified for significant expansion and industrial development, so there is a lot riding on this road.”
The engineer said they hope to have funding in place to commence the process by next year.