County Hall rules out nighttime work to solve Little Island traffic chaos

County Hall rules out nighttime work to solve Little Island traffic chaos
Little Island, traffic problems. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

A ‘tight budget’ has been blamed for the lack of weekend and night-time work on the Little Island flyover bridge where 90-minute tailbacks are driving motorists around the bend.

Commuters and residents have complained of massive delays since construction works began on the bridge last Monday. The delays have led to calls for the works to be done outside normal working hours. Little Island is one of the busiest industrial hubs in the country. The project aims to create an extra lane on the bridge but the delays have frustrated commuters and local residents.

Councillor Padraig O’Sullivan was told by Cork Hall officials that the €1m project does not have the budget for the higher pay rates of night-time work. However, Mr O’Sullivan said that the contribution from the Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) was a lot less than anticipated by the council and this has left them struggling to provide measures to alleviate the ongoing congestion.

Eastgate Industrial Estate Little Island, traffic problems, at the Little Island Flyover. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Eastgate Industrial Estate Little Island, traffic problems, at the Little Island Flyover. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

“It is a sizeable project and the council is funding the works themselves, but they were expecting a larger allocation of funding from the TII that would allow them to finance nighttime and weekend work, but they didn’t get it.”

A spokesperson for the TII said that when it is not a national road their funding is limited.

“We are limited to the extent of the funding for a non-national road.”

Cllr O’Sullivan highlighted the problem facing motorists. “People are spending 45-50 minutes to travel two miles. Local residents are being denied access to local amenities due to traffic.”

Mr O’Sullivan said that 5,000 jobs are planned for Little Island once the road infrastructure is completed in June and he does not think that the area can handle this increased number of commuters.

“Some of the jobs are in Eastgate Business Park and some are on Brownfield sites. I can’t see how they will be accommodated even with the upgrades and the cycleway. I don’t think it can be managed,” he said.

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