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Dismay Over Slow Progress On Improving Carrigaline Junction

Writes Leo McMahon 

Dismay that funding has not yet been committed to a detailed design and delivery of long sought after improvement works at the busy Bothar Guidel-Church Road junction, Carrigaline was voiced at the monthly meeting of Cork County Council’s Carrigaline Municipal District.

On the agenda was a motion from Cathaoirleach Seamus McGrath (FF) seeking an update in writing, pointing out that the council’s ‘Part 8’ planning application for the scheme was approved on July 8th. He also asked for progress on the detailed design stage and a timeframe for completion.

In a report, senior engineer Cormac O Suilleabhain said that following approval of the ‘Part 8’ planning, it had been the intention to progress to detailed design using the consultants who completed the outline design for the ‘Part 8’ application.

‘Unfortunately, the capacity within the existing contract did not facilitate this and thus the council needs to return to the market to procure a consulting engineer to provide this service and undertake the duties of Employers Representative for the construction stage. The council is currently in the process of procuring multi-disciplinary engineering consultants to operate a four-year framework to deliver and progress implementation of the Carrigaline Transportation and Public Realm Enhancement Plan (TPREP). It’s envisaged the consultant will be in place in the first quarter of 2020 and be in a position to provide the necessary expertise to deliver the detailed design’, the engineer reported.

The cost of the Bothar Guidel-Church Road improvement works was estimated at around €750,000 plus VAT with design fees and associated costs estimated at €100,000.

‘To date, no funding source has been confirmed to deliver the scheme in its entirety although discussions are ongoing with potential funding bodies, including the National Transport Authority, to deliver relevant elements. Thus, the timeline for completion will be predicated on and cannot be confirmed until a national funding mechanism is secured’, Mr O Suilleabhain added.

‘It’s very disappointing,’ was the reaction from Cllr McGrath who pointed out that MD members approved the ‘Part 8’ report in July ahead of it getting a detailed design.

‘This is a critical piece of infrastructure for Carrigaline’, he continued, with councillors in favour of implementing ‘easy wins’ such as longer and better right hand turns into both roads at the traffic lights junction and again urged that this proceed as quickly as possible.

Cllr McGrath added that in order to progress this work, the MD had separated this from the original overall package that included the upgrading of the Lidl roundabout and widening of the bridge and Bothar Guidel which were also needed.

As someone who travelled the road at least twice daily, Cllr Liam O’Connor (FG) concurred. ‘You can be held up for 20 minutes coming in and out. We need to see some progress on this.’

Cllr Marcia D’Alton (Ind) agreed, saying it was ‘soul destroying’ at times trying to get through the junction. ‘At €750,000, it’s a very cheap win and it would be fantastic to see funding allocated’.

It was agreed to refer Cllr McGrath’s motion back to the council’s planning and strategic development section.

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