CHRONIC traffic delays in Little Island have left motorists queuing for up to 90 minutes to get in and out of the industrial hub.
The delays, due to ongoing roadworks on the main flyover bridge, have sparked an angry reaction from commuters.
Contractors are installing an extra lane on the already congested bridge, which is the main access point into Little Island. The situation has been so bad this week that people working in Little Island have begun moving their cars into residential areas in a bid to escape bottlenecks at the main employment centres.
Chief executive of the Little Island Business Association Michael Mulcahy urged people to remain patient and described the works as “short term pain for long term gain”.
“The bridge works started on Monday and the traffic has been exceptionally busy over the past few days,” he said.
Mr Mulcahy said: “There are three lanes reduced to one, so there is effectively one lane in and out of the island, but it will result in a more beneficial traffic system in the future.
“The realignment of the bridge is the largest part of the works that will be ongoing until the end of June. It is the most difficult part of the project and it is causing considerable delays but the issue is under review and measures are being put in place to try and ease the situation.”
Gardaí are on hand from 3pm to 6pm to assist the traffic.
Mr Mulcahy said he was aware of the huge inconvenience that was currently being experienced by locals and employees in the area and said there will be night work and weekend work in the coming weeks and months, although it had not yet been scheduled.
“Residents are currently in discussion with the project management team. The night work and weekend work would benefit the workers but there would be an inconvenience to those living locally,” he said. “There are two ways in and two ways out of Little Island, it is problematic at the best of times and with the roadworks, it is problematic beyond belief.”
A spokesperson for Cork County Council said the works will ultimately alleviate traffic congestion by creating extra road capacity.
The project will deliver an extra right turning lane on the eastbound off-ramp from the N25 as well as creating an extra lane on the bridge for inbound traffic.
It will extend the right-turn lane for outbound traffic resulting in two lanes each way between An Crompán Roundabout and N25 on/off ramps on the northern side of the bridge.
In addition, there will be an additional approach lane to An Crompán roundabout on both southern and eastern approaches.