Government gives go-ahead to €215 million upgrade of Dunkettle Interchange in Cork 2 weeks ago

Government gives go-ahead to €215 million upgrade of Dunkettle Interchange in Cork

It’s been a while coming, but the upgrade of one of the busiest junctions in the country is now ready to proceed.

The government has confirmed that a contract has been awarded to SISK Construction to upgrade the Dunkettle Interchange in Cork, at a cost of €215 million.

The news was announced following a cabinet meeting on Tuesday and the upgrade will lead to a reconfiguration of the existing road layout to a free flowing interchange.

The project had been subject to delays until getting the go ahead on Tuesday, delays attributed by Peter Walsh, CEO of Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) to a “challenging” bidding process involving SISK and BAM Ireland.

Located around six kilometres to the east of Cork city and just to the north of the Jack Lynch Tunnel, approximately 100,000 vehicles use the Dunkettle Interchange on a daily basis. It is the intersection of a number of national routes, such as the M8/N8 Dublin to Cork Road, the N25 Cork to Waterford Road and the N40 Southern Ring Road (through the Jack Lynch Tunnel).

The existing interchange comprises a signalised roundabout, with a free flow overpass for traffic travelling east-west along the N25, and vice versa. Traffic not using the overpass must negotiate the roundabout, which is controlled via traffic signals.

The proposed development will lead to changes on the N8, the N25, the N40 and links to the R623 in Little Island and Bury's Bridge in Dunkettle, while also making provision for pedestrian and cyclist facilities, as outlined below.

The project is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2024.

  • A series of direct road links between the N8, the N25 and the N40 and links to the R623 Regional Road in Little Island and Burys Bridge in Dunkettle
  • One grade separated junction arrangement at the existing N25 to the east of the existing Dunkettle Interchange facilitating access to Little Island
  • Four roundabouts – two at the grade separated junction and two at tie-ins with the existing road network
  • 52 structures of various forms
  • Several culverts where the scheme crosses watercourses or intertidal areas
  • Intelligent Transport Systems
  • Pedestrian and cyclist facilities

Commenting on the upgrade getting government approval, Minister of State for International and Road Transport and Logistics Hildegarde Naughton said: “This project is vital toward delivering an integrated transport strategy for the City of Cork and the region.

“We recently announced the completion and soon-to-open new pedestrian and cycleway crossing, which was constructed as part of this project, connecting the Dunkettle interchange to the train station at Little Island. Integrating and delivering public transport elements, as part of road improvement projects, is a key component toward offering the public an alternative to the car.”

Peter Walsh, CEO Transport Infrastructure Ireland, added: “The bidding process, while challenging, will deliver a better outcome for the taxpayer, due in no small part to the design and construction job being tendered by two of Ireland’s civil engineering construction companies.

“We are pleased that the first phase of work has already delivered a public benefit with the opening of the new pedestrian and cyclist facilities providing a safe path through the interchange.

“We look forward to the detail design and main works commencing in the coming weeks. We wish SISK Construction, our team at TII and our colleagues in Cork County and City Councils success in completing this project by Q1 2024.”