Bronze Age kitchen found at Dunkettle

Bronze Age kitchen found at Dunkettle
The Dunkettle Interchange. Picture: Tom Coakley

Archaeologists working on the Dunkettle Interchange upgrade have uncovered a Bronze Age field kitchen but the discovery will not delay construction works which are set to get underway in early 2019.

A €100m redevelopment of the busiest road junction in the country outside of Dublin is currently ongoing.

The busy interchange carries approximately 80,000 to 100,000 cars a day and connects with the M8 to Dublin, N25 to Waterford as well as the Lower Glanmire Road and N40 South Ring.

The existing interchange is presently operating significantly above capacity and suffering from severe traffic congestion at peak periods.

A computer-generated image of how the new Dunkettle Interchange will look.
A computer-generated image of how the new Dunkettle Interchange will look.

The initial sweep of the site will be completed this month and it is expected that the fulacht fiadh site — the Bronze Age field kitchen — and any other archaeological sites uncovered will be fully resolved well in advance of main construction works. Before this progresses, works at the Silversprings Interchange on the N8 will begin in early October which will regularise both inbound and outbound lanes in the area.

Cork City Council is planning to commence work on a number of measures which will improve traffic flow at the busy junction that acts as one of the main arteries into the city at the Lower Glanmire Road, North Ring Road and Tivoli Docks.

The reconfiguration would see the existing dual carriageway extended by 450m with a new traffic diverge lane including 880m of pavement works.

In addition, Cork County Council is advancing a scheme aimed at improving traffic flow in the general Little Island Interchange area. Tenders for the works will be advertised next month and again the intention is to complete these works in advance of the Dunkettle Interchange Main Construction Phase.

As reported in the Evening Echo in July, Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) also plans to install an Intelligent Transport System along the N40 South Ring.

The system will include closed-circuit TV coverage of the road network and provide information for permanent electronic message signs and provision of real-time journey time information for commuters using the route.

Approaches to the N40 including the N28 Cork/Ringaskiddy road, N27 Cork City to airport road and N71 Cork/Bandon road, as well as the N8, M8 and N25 approaches to the Dunkettle Interchange, will also be covered.

Works to install the system are already underway.

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