Luas track-laying work starts in O’Connell Street
College Green car ban to be extended for ‘intensive’ phase of work on line
Track laying work for the construction of the cross city Luas line will begin on Dublin’s O’Connell Street on Tuesday morning.
The work, which has been described by the Department of Transport as a “major milestone in the project” comes ahead of the extension of the morning and evening ban on cars travelling through College Green.
Drivers are already restricted in their use of College Green by the “bus gate”, a ban introduced six years ago on cars travelling north through College Green between 7am-10am and 4pm-7pm Monday to Friday.
From next Monday, the hours of the ban will be extended from 7am to 7pm Monday to Friday with only taxis and buses permitted to drive through the area to allow for the “intensive” phase of work on the line to go ahead.
The restrictions are expected to cause “considerable and unavoidable disruption” to the College Green area, according to AA Roadwatch.
The permanent closure of College Green to private cars is proposed under the Dublin City Centre Transport Study, which is available for public consultation until Friday.
The €368 million cross city line, due for completion in 2017, will connect the existing Green and Red lines through the city centre before continuing north to the new DIT campus at Grangegorman, then on to Phibsborough and Cabra, where it will terminate at the Iarnród Éireann station at Broombridge.
It is due for completion in September 2017, and is on schedule according to project spokeswoman Gráinne Mackin.
This morning sees the start of the main track laying works up O’Connell Street. The work will take place in sections of about 100 metres starting just north of the Spire on the median of the street.
Initially the work will involve the installation of reinforced steel and concrete to support the line and it will be 10 to 12 weeks before rail tracks will be put in place.
The Luas works which have been on-going on the city’s streets since March 2013 have until now mainly involved the filling in of cellars under the route and the clearing and diverting of utilities such as underground gas and water pipes and electricity and internet cables.