A proposal to elevate the MetroLink rail line on ‘stilts’ above the R132 in Swords has been abandoned under revised plans unveiled on Tuesday.
Transport chiefs published their preferred route as a second public consultation phase got under way with the project back on track and set to meet its 2027 target.
The light rail network will run from Swords to Charlemont north of Ranelagh in the city centre.
It will begin at ground level at Estuary where a 3,000-vehicle park-and-ride facility will be built.
The location has been pulled slightly south of the original plan to minimise its impact on Lissenhall Bridge.
There will be four stops in Swords – the terminus at Estuary, Seatown, Swords Central and Fosterstown – before it reaches Dublin Airport, with 11 more stops beyond that.
A comprehensive draft published on Tuesday notes that the original plan to elevate the line above the R132 from Seatown through Swords and on to Fosterstown has been abandoned.
It states: “We now propose to create a cutting to the east side of the R132.
This means MetroLink will run below the road level along the R132, alleviating concerns about its visual impact.
Planners also say they will be “consulting closely” with Fingallians GAA Club and others who use the pitches at Balheary “to mitigate any impacts” during construction.
Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell welcomed news that the delivery timeframe for the project remains on track, adding: “The delivery of Metro is of paramount importance.”
The light rail system promises to get commuters from Swords to the city centre in 25 minutes, catering for 20,000 passengers per direction per hour – or 50 million a year.
The public consultation will close on May 21 and will inform the final plans, paving the way for a Railway Procurement Order (planning application) in 2020.
For further information or to make a submission, see www.metrolink.ie.