Tenders for the main construction works at Dunkettle were received in late June 2020 and these are currently under review. We still anticipate Award of this construction Contract before the end of 2020. We then anticipate that sectional openings of the works will take place from 2022 onwards with a maximum time period of 42 months allowed for construction. Regular updates are issued in relation to progress on the Dunkettle Interchange Upgrade Scheme and other National Primary Road Schemea in the general Cork Metropolitan area. These updates will continue to be issued as we progress through the advance works and main construction phases. (Sign up at: https://www.dunkettle.ie/newslettersignup).
The maximum period allowed for construction of the main works Contract is 42 months from the time of the confirmed start date.
We are currently progressing a number of significant Dunkettle Interchange Advance Works items which will provide benefits in terms of the overall construction programme and/or traffic management benefits as the main works are progressed. These Advance works include:-
- The construction of a new Link road taking traffic from the N8 (Lower Glanmire Road outbound from Cork City) to the M8 (Dublin Motorway northbound). This free flow Link will allow this element of traffic to bypass the existing Dunkettle Interchange Roundabout completely. While the Link will be substantially complete by September 2020 it will only be opened to traffic following on from the Award of the main construction Contract – this is due to the fact that significant, ongoing Traffic Management measures will be required in association with this free flow Link until the main construction works themselves are advanced on the M8. Removing this traffic movement from the Interchange Roundabout entirely will provide obvious benefits to those using this route but will also benefit all Interchange Roundabout users by reducing the total volume of traffic to be accommodated through the Roundabout.
- Construction of a shared use cycle/pedestrian route adjacent to the free flow Link referenced above. This will be a segregated route, separated from the road Link by environmental barriers and vehicle restraint barriers and I expect that it will be open before the end of this year.
The Dunkettle area is a critical node in the delivery of the Cork Cycle Network Plan by both Cork City Council and Cork County Council. Early completion of this element would connect the City to the proposed new cycleways for the Glounthaune Road and for the Richmond Road – both of these projects are currently being developed by the Local Authorities.
- Construction of a new pedestrian and cycle rail overbridge near the existing Bury’s Bridge. This bridge is now in place and finishing works associated with bringing it into use are currently ongoing.
- Works to existing major utilities crossing the Dunkettle Interchange site. These utilities include gas, electricity, fibre optic telecommunication cables, trunk watermains serving Cork City, Little Island and Cobh as well as multiple minor services under a number of headings. Protection works and diversion routes to these vital services within the new service corridors being developed during the Advance works process will significantly reduce the risk of services strikes during the main construction works and will benefit positively on the main construction works programme.
Works under this heading include the installation of a new 900mm diam. watermain crossing the N25 and this works element will reach completion in October 2020. Works under this heading also include the construction of a new protective slab overlying a gas transmission main near the Pfizer premises – this Advance works element will also reach completion in October 2020.
- A new Roundabout is currently under construction on the R623 Little Island Regional Road. This Roundabout will ultimately facilitate the Link Road to the new Interchange to be constructed east of the existing Dunkettle Interchange. In the short-term, during the main construction phase the Roundabout will provide a key site access for over 1 million tonnes of construction materials, thus allowing this very significant delivery process to be progressed with minimal disruption to traffic.
Journey times in the junction area will depend on a number of factors including the phase of construction works, time of day, time of year and return of traffic volumes to normal patterns. With up to 130,000 vehicles travelling through the Dunkettle Interchange area on a daily basis (prior to Covid-19) a range of measures such as roadside journey time signs and multiple communication channels have been developed – these will provide real time journey time information and livestreamed footage of traffic flows at various critical parts of the road network.
This information is now available via the Dunkettle Live App and the Dunkettle traffic website www.dunkettletraffic.ie and the aim is to assist commuters and the travelling public in planning their journeys at the most appropriate times.
The traffic app Dunkettle Live is available as a free download on the Google Play store and the Apple App store .
Refer to Question 11 below for further details.
The short answer here is yes.
The planning and sequencing of the works will, at all times prioritise maintenance of traffic flows to the greatest extent possible. However, the Dunkettle Interchange Upgrade Scheme aims to construct an entirely new road new network on the footprint of the existing Interchange and an element of traffic disruption is inevitable.
Planned lane restrictions, localised diversions etc. will be signalled well in advance of the works again with a view to facilitating motorists in planning their journeys to the greatest extent possible.
We see communication as being a key element of minimising traffic disruption. Accordingly, we will be keeping the travelling public fully informed through weekly newsletters/updates and via the Dunkettle website and Dunkettle Live App. Also, impacts on the travelling public and commuters will be minimised by:-
- Working “from the outside in”, opening up new road links on a phased basis and steadily reducing traffic volumes on the existing Dunkettle Interchange Roundabout itself as the works are progressed.
- Keeping running lanes open to the greatest extent possible during peak times. There will however, be times when the hard shoulder areas will need to be closed during these peak times.
- Bridge lifts, and similar disruptive works will be progressed under night-time and weekend working arrangements to the greatest extent possible.
- A Traffic Management Forum has already been established and this will continue to operate during the construction phase. This will ensure that Dunkettle Traffic Management will be coordinated with other Projects in the area and with An Garda Siochana/Emergency services with a view to minimising impact on the travelling public.
Yes, there will be road closures required for specific elements of works. Temporary closures will be restricted to night-time working to the greatest extent possible but permanent closures of existing road lengths will also be required. For example, the N25 left in/left out junction to Bury’s Bridge will be permanently closed during the Dunkettle construction phase with traffic diverted via the Little Island Interchange until the new Dunkettle Eastern Interchange is open to traffic.
All planned road closures will be signalled well in advance to road users and comprehensive Traffic Management arrangements will be put in place associated with all road closures.
During the Dunkettle Interchange Upgrade constructions works, there will be times when Jack Lynch tunnel closures will coincide with Dunkettle works and road users will be notified in advance through roadside signage, Dunkettle progress updates via the weekly newsletter and the Dunkettle Project website https://www.dunkettle.ie
It is also anticipated that a limited number of additional tunnel closures will be required to facilitate night-time working in areas of the Dunkettle site.
Normal working hours on the site are 7am to 7pm Monday to Friday and 7am to 4.30pm on Saturday.
As noted above there will be a fairly significant focus on night-time and weekend working for specific tasks such as installation of Traffic Management arrangements, placing of bridge beams, resurfacing works etc. with the aim of minimising impact on commuting traffic.
On commencement of the main Dunkettle Interchange construction works, there will be a free recovery vehicle should you break down.
A phone number for a dedicated local vehicle recovery service will be provided on the Dunkettle Live app and the
Dunkettle Traffic website (www.dunkettletraffic.ie).
In the interim, please contact the Motorway Incident Line on 0818 715 100.
- The traffic app Dunkettle Live is available as a free download on the Google Play store and the Apple App store
- A short video demonstrating the functionality of the app can be viewed
Dunkettle Live App Preview.
- Dunkettle Live was developed in advance of the main construction works, and launched in early December 2019, to provide motorists with real-time traffic information accompanied by live video streaming from the main approaches to the Dunkettle Interchange and live journey times through the junction, to and from all of the major routes: M8, N40, N25, N8.
- It is hoped that this information may assist the travelling public and commuters with flexible working arrangements to re-schedule their journeys through the interchange to avoid peak traffic periods as people become increasingly aware of the free availability of real time traffic information on all approaches to the Dunkettle Interchange.
- We would welcome any comments in relation to the app to
- The weekly ‘progress update’ newsletter is the best means of keeping in touch with the project (New subscribers to the newsletter can register at: http://www.dunkettle.ie/newslettersignup).
- Project Website (www.dunkettle.ie).
- Dunkettle Live App available as a free download on both the Google Play store and the Apple App store.
- Traffic Website (www.dunkettletraffic.ie)
We would encourage members of the public to visit the display room in the Dunkettle Site office (by advance arrangement) where full scale model of the completed Dunkettle Interchange is available to view.
The site office is located at Inchera, Little Island and we would be happy to answer any queries between 08.00 to 17.00 hrs.
There is a freephone number 1800 810077 available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
A display room is maintained on site with a 3D model of the completed Dunkettle Interchange and a range of other relevant information.
All are welcome to visit – the visits should be by appointment while the current health emergency continues..
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