TRANSPORT Infrastructure Ireland (TII) says the M28 motorway to Ringaskiddy could be completed by 2024.
TII spokesperson Tom Manning told the Evening Echo that construction could take approximately three years from 2021, if work is progressed within TII’s project management guidelines.
“The N28 Cork to Ringaskiddy scheme is included both in Building and Recovery, and the National Development Plan,” he said.
“Based on current timeframes, it is anticipated that it may be possible to reach the construction stage with this project in 2021 with a projected construction completion in 2024,” he added.
Cork County Council will look to ensure work on the M28 motorway to Ringaskiddy will start “as soon possible”.
Cork’s two local authorities and TII want the €180-€220m motorway completed in order to allow the Port of Cork to complete its move to Ringaskiddy.
Last month, the port announced a new €80m container terminal. The viability of this project will rest on the motorway allowing ease of access to and from Cork city. The 360m quay — which will be 13m deep — will enable larger ships to berth in Ringaskiddy.
The development also includes the construction of a 13.5-hectare terminal and associated buildings as well as two ship-to-shore gantry cranes and container handling equipment.
The Port of Cork anticipates that the terminal will become operational by 2020.
Port of Cork CEO Brendan Keating said the motorway will assist the port in expanding its capacity.
“An adequate road network will enable the port to provide an efficient service to our customers and to continue to meet the economic needs of the region and future-proof Cork as an international gateway for trade,” he said.
In a joint statement, Cork city and county councils — along with TII — said the motorway will enhance economic development, support the strategic development of the port and increase the capacity and safety of the road network through the N28 corridor.
“Nationally, in a post-Brexit era, the Port of Cork is increasingly important as the closest port to mainland Europe and to EU markets,” the statement read.
“Improved access to Ringaskiddy has been specifically identified in Government’s National Planning Framework — Project Ireland 2040, as a key growth enabler for the Cork region.”
The project will include approximately 13km of new motorway/single carriageway from the N40 to Ringaskiddy.