A €215 million interchange upgrade scheme to alleviate congestion, improve safety and to streamline traffic flow has been officially opened in Cork this morning by Tánaiste Micheál Martin.
The Dunkettle Interchange is the junction of four national roads, the M8 Cork-Dublin Motorway; the N25 Cork-Waterford/Rosslare route; the N40 Cork South Ring Road and the N8 Dunkettle-Cork city national route.
The interchange is located five kilometres east of Cork City centre and lies mainly within the Cork City Council administrative area.
The project has delivered eighteen new road links totalling 10km in length and seven new bridge structures, as well as upgrade works carried out on five pre-existing structures; and upgrades and resurfacing works to the N25 road between Tivoli Roundabout and the Little Island Interchange.
In addition, 2.9km of new walkways and cycleways have been developed including the provision of a new bridge across the Cork-Midleton railway line and installation of new culverts and pollution control facilities, landscaping works, directional signage and safety barriers.
Traffic volumes through the Dunkettle interchange are at an all-time high, approaching 120,000 vehicles on the busier days of the week.
Despite this, Transport Infrastructure Ireland reports that journey times during peak hours have reduced by almost 50 per cent on average as a result of this upgrade project.
Journey time savings of almost 60 per cent are being achieved on the N40 to N25 route during peak hours, while time savings of over 50 per cent are being achieved on routes accessed via the M8 Southbound.
Mr Martin said that the project will be a “catalyst for enhancing economic and social activity right across Cork and the entire Munster region”.
The Mayor of the County Cllr Frank O’Flynn and the Lord Mayor of the city Cllr Kieran McCarthy have also welcomed the project.
Peter Walsh, chief executive of Transport Infrastructure Ireland, said that the project marks the culmination of a journey that has been ten years in the making.
“Ongoing close collaboration between the Government, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, Cork City Council, John Sisk and Son Ltd and Jacobs allowed the project to move forward.”