Newlands upgrade to start in April

by Gazette Reporter
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THE long-awaited Newlands Cross flyover is set to begin construction this April after the National Roads Authority (NRA) announced that the awarding of the contract will take place in March.
The much-maligned junction is a constant source of traffic headaches to motorists across Leinster, and the revamp will see the demolition of the last remaining traffic lights between Dundalk and Cork city.
The scheme, for which An Bord Pleanala granted planning permission in June 2008, involves the construction of a flyover at the existing junction between the N7 Naas Road and the Fonthill/Belgard Road.
The NRA hopes that work will begin shortly after the contract for construction has been awarded in March.
The multimillion euro funding is set to be provided through a public-private partnership involving a significant contribution from the European Investment Bank and the Bank of Ireland.
This is the first such arrangement for a roads project for a number of years and the project will take two years to complete.
Local Labour TD Robert Dowds said that the junction was a cause of problems across the region.
“This is a junction that has been causing severe traffic problems for the residents of Clondalkin, Saggart, Newcastle and Rathcoole over many years. With 120,000 vehicles going through the junction every day, this project will make a real difference to commuters and businesses within our community by putting an end to the gridlock around the intersection.”
Funding had been delayed due to uncertainty in Europe, but Dowds is confident that the money, and the project mark a vote of confidence in Ireland.
“The flyover has been delayed over the last year because the money for it is coming from the financial markets, and there was quite a bit of uncertainty about how the euro[zone] situation was going to pan out. With so many problems in the country, it will be a credit to this Government when this project is finished. It will be a sign that despite the difficulties, we are making progress.”

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