€174m section of Dublin to Cork motorway opens early


THE NEW 16km Fermoy-Mitchelstown dual-carriageway opened yesterday within budget and ahead of schedule.

Work on the €174 million section of motorway began in December 2007, and was not expected to be completed until next year.

However, the contractors made major progress, and the project was officially opened within budget yesterday by Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey.

It is the second last phase of the Cork to Dublin motorway to open. Only the Laois towns of Durrow and Abbeyleix are left to be bypassed on the Cork to Dublin route.

Mr Dempsey said he hoped that the final section of the motorway would also be ahead of schedule.

“The other one is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2010.

“Hopefully, the contractors there will be able to deliver before time there as well and within budget.

“It will be good news for commuters and for road-users, and in a particular way good news for the people living in the towns that are being bypassed.”

Peter Malone, chairman of the National Roads Authority, said the opening of the Fermoy to Mitchelstown project signalled the near completion of the main Dublin to Cork corridor.

“Just 14km of the M8 remains unopened to traffic but the final link is on schedule for completion next year.

“There is now 77km of continuous modern roadway from Dublin to south of Portlaoise, and 130km from Cullahill in Co Laois to the Dunkettle Interchange in Cork.”