Motorway misery on M7 to continue into summer, says council chief

‘It is a difficult site. Every metre of excavation brings a new challenge’

The upgrade involves widening the road from two to three lanes in both directions. File photograph: Google Street View

The upgrade involves widening the road from two to three lanes in both directions. File photograph: Google Street View

 

Road works causing daily disruption for tens of thousands of motorists on the M7 motorway will continue into the summer, despite a vow they would be completed by spring, Kildare County Council has said.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) said in January that the three lanes of the route would be operational in both directions by April 2019.

But in a latest update, Niall Morrissey, director of services with Kildare County Council, said it was more likely the works would continue to July.

“Sometime around July, we should be there or thereabouts,” he said.

“It is a difficult site. Every metre of excavation brings a new challenge.”

The upgrade involves widening of a 13.6 km stretch of the road - between junction eight Johnstown to the M7 and the M9 interchange at junction 11 - from two to three lanes in both directions to ease congestion.

Construction began in January 2018.

The contract also involves the replacement and relocation of the existing ramps at at junction 10 Naas South Newhall to the main Naas Newbridge dual carriageway, the R445.

Mr Morrissey told Newstalk radio that have been doing their “damnedest” to get it finished as early as possible but that it was “a very very difficult project”.

“Nothing in particular” had happened over the last number of months to delay the most recently projected completion date, he said, adding there should be “fantastic progress” over the coming weeks.

Motorists ignoring a reduced 60 km/hr limit (37m/hr) on the motorway for the duration of the works have been contributing to some congestion also in the courts.

Latest figures from TII show more than 13,700 fines issued since the roadworks began.