CORK County Council has moved to ease fears of chronic congestion during works at two of the busiest commuter hubs in the county.
County Hall’s Director of Services, Roads and Transportation, Padraig Barrett, confirmed work had begun on the Little Island bridge to widen the bridge to two lanes of traffic in both directions.
Separately, construction activity will start on the Shannonpark Roundabout, outside Carrigaline, next Monday.
Little Island councillor Padraig O’Sullivan said preparation works had begun on the bridge-widening, and that they would start footpath demolition this week.
Mr O’Sullivan raised the question about night work to avoid traffic chaos during peak commuter hours, saying:
“There are 36,000 vehicles in and out of Little Island every day, so I would be interested to see if there is any contingency if traffic does get out of control.”
In response, Mr Barrett said they would consider alternative work practices and would work outside of peak times to reduce the impact on commuters.
On the Carrigaline works, assurances were also offered ahead of the project commencing next week.
Cork County Council had plans to install traffic lights at the roundabout, but abandoned them amid strong objections from local groups.
Slip roads and lane extensions will instead be used instead to relieve congestion.
Mr Barrett confirmed that work would not go on during peak times in the morning or evening.
He said: “Time restrictions have been placed on the contractor that they won’t commence on the road until 9.30am and they are off the road by 4.30pm.”
The head of council’s roads department said the works would remain under review.
Local councillor Seamus McGrath said he raised the concerns following the disruptions caused to Airport Road last year.
“I just want to make sure the works aren’t going to have untold consequences in terms of peak time.
“Nervousness comes from the work done at the airport roundabout last year. Obviously, that did have an impact on peak times, so I just want to make sure we don’t repeat that mistake.”
As well as dealing with existing heavy traffic volumes, the project is also required due to the development of an 800-home housing estate in the area.
The 100-acre Janeville site was purchased by Astra Construction Services in 2004 and building started on the site in 2017.