Revised plans for the development of the €180 million road between Cork and Ringaskiddy entail some significant changes and are expected to be more acceptable to people who voiced their objections to the original plans.
The new plans will see the Mount Oval connection maintained and a new junction connecting to Maryborough Hill, which will be just a few hundred yards from the existing one.
Plans to run a connection road through the residential Maryborough Ridge area have also been axed.
Officials from the national Road office say that it remains unlikely that an oral hearing will be held by An Bord Pleanála. They have also speculated that, depending on funding, the start date for construction will be 2021 and will take two years to complete.
In the new plans, 10.9km of motorway-standard dual carriageway will be constructed from Bloomfield to Barnahely and 1.6km of single carriageway from Barnahely to east of Ringaskiddy, which will connect with the Port of Cork container terminal.
The new proposals also include junctions at Bloomfield/Rochestown Road, Carr’s Hill, Shannonpark, and Shanbally, along with new roundabouts at Barnahely, Loughbeg, and Ringaskiddy.
It is also being proposed to locate a motorway services area close to the port in Ringaskiddy.
The aim of the new plans is to increase the overall safety and capacity of the road to cater for a projected future growth in traffic.
Public consultation on the plans took place on Monday and Tuesday and all feedback received as part of the consultation is set to be reviewed by the project team, with the issues raised to be published in a consultation report.
The final design for the motorway scheme will then be developed to finalise the route alignment. It is expected that plans for the final scheme will be put on public display this autumn.