Link Road from R623 Little Island Regional Road to the future upgraded Interchange
The R623 Regional road forms the spine of the existing road network on Little Island. The Dunkettle Interchange Upgrade will include an entirely new grade-separated junction providing access in and out of the west side of Little Island. This junction will link to the R623 road at a new Roundabout via a new road link running north-south between the Pfizer, Henkel, and Cara sites on one side, and BASF and Hoffman Park on the other.
The Roundabout on the R623 road has been completed as Advance Works in order to provide a safe access to the worksite. A large portion of the North-South Link Road has also been completed, providing access to the site of the major bridge structure to be constructed spanning the N25. The Roundabout as constructed includes cycle/pedestrian facilities which will link to the future north-south cycle route to Bury’s Bridge over the N25.
Initially the roundabout works were completed off-line north of the existing road. Traffic was then switched onto this new section of pavement to allow the southern side of the roundabout to be constructed. Maintaining traffic flows was challenging given the limited working room. A combination of traffic lights, supplemented with flagmen at peak times, worked well to keep traffic delays to a minimum during the works.
R623 Roundabout:Left & Centre nearing half completion, Right completed.
N8 to M8 Northbound Road Link
Completion of this free-flow road link from the N8/N25 eastbound to the M8 Dublin road Northbound was identified as a major element of the Advance Works to be completed during 2020 while the Main Contract works were being tendered. The advantages of early completion of this slip included;
- The link could largely be completed off-line without impact on the main works to follow,
- It allowed for the early delivery and opening of the parallel cycle/pedestrian path linking the N8 to the Glounthaune-Glanmire road,
- It opened access to construct the connected N8 to Glounthaune road link,
- Following commencement of the main works, it will allow for earlier opening of this slip road, allowing vehicles on the ‘Cork to Dublin’ route to bypass the junction entirely.
The image below illustrates the portion of the link road which is fully completed. The tie-in to the M8 is to be completed as part of the main works, as the detailed geometry of the upgraded junction at this location will first need to be finalised.
N8 to M8 Northbound Road Link & Cycleway.
N8 to Glounthaune Road Link
This link road will ultimately connect the N8 eastbound with the Glanmire-Glounthaune Road, and the new Little Island West access junction, via Bury’s Bridge. A significant portion of these works has been completed both east and west of the existing M8;
Construction of this portion of the link road includes the construction of an embankment up to 8m in height, along with a ‘Reinforced Earth’ Retaining Wall along the boundary with the live railway line.
The interface with the railway line necessitated part of the works to be completed under night time Iarnrod Eireann possessions. 30,000 cubic metres of earthworks material was imported in order to construct the embankment. The works were completed successfully off-line with minimal impact on traffic.
'Reinforced Earth' Retaining Wall along the boundary with the railway line.
The works to the west of the M8 involved the construction of a new Roundabout south of the existing Glanmire to Glounthaune road with the new road tying into the existing roundabout at Bury's bridge to the east, and the Richmond road at the Gaelscoil entrance to the north.
The works were completed successfully offline initially with 10,000 cubic metres of earthworks materials imported from local sources to complete the required filling. This portion of the road is now open, including segregated cycle/pedestrian facilities, described in more detail in Cycle & Pedestrian facilities.