The need for funding to allow for the planned upgrade of the Dunkettle Interchange has been raised in Dail Eireann by David Stanton, Fine Gael TD for Cork East. Deputy Stanton questioned Minister for Transport, Paschal Donohoe TD on the possibility of allocating additional monies to the National Roads Authority (NRA) to allow the project, which is critical to the transport infrastructure of Cork city and its environs, to proceed.
“This project was approved by An Bord Pleanala in May 2013 and will allow for free flowing traffic in north-south directions in addition to the current east-west free flow. A number of measures are also planned to remove local traffic from the interchange. I understand that the NRA have completed the overall design, compulsory purchase orders and environmental impact assessment necessary to comply with planning approval and the only impediment to progress now is funding”, said Deputy Stanton.
“The Dunkettle Interchange, at the mouth of the Jack Lynch Tunnel, links the M8 with the N40 and N25 is a very busy interchange with approximately 76,000 vehicles movements per day. This volume of traffic leads to congestion at peak times which in turn can cause significant increases in travel times for commuters and commercial traffic. Longer journey times for private and commercial traffic entail costs to commuters, businesses and the state.
“The estimated cost of the Dunkettle Interchange project is €90 million and Minister Donohoe acknowledged that the project is very important to the infrastructure of the Cork region. He advised that despite its importance, he is not in a position to allocate this level of additional funding to the NRA to allow the project to progress at this time which is disappointing.
“While I am aware that possibly other options, such a Public Private Partnership, are available to the NRA to complete the Dunkettle upgrade. These options still require substantial lump sum funding. I intend to keep pushing for the need for monies to be made available to allow the construction of this vital piece of Cork transport infrastructure to progress”, concluded Deputy Stanton.