Limerick Tunnel Progress Report
A project briefing recently took place for Minister of Transport Noel Dempsey T.D., to outline the current project status of the Limerick Tunnel due for completion in 2010.
The Minister stated, “This project will offer major benefits for Limerick city and the entire region. I am particularly pleased with the progress that this project is making. All indications are that this Tunnel will be delivered on time and within budget. This Government is committed to investing in our transport infrastructure even in these times of major economic constraint. We know that this investment will pay dividends now and into the future. When complete this Tunnel will have the capacity to take approximately 40,000 vehicles out of Limerick city centre. This will help to ease congestion and facilitate business.”
· The Limerick Tunnel is part of the final phase of the Limerick Southern Ring Road, which is covered under Governments Transport 21.
· The Limerick Tunnel is capable of handling up to 40,000 vehicles per day. Removing up to this many vehicles from the city centre will help to eliminate traffic congestion, improve air quality, lower CO2 emissions, and allow for further pedestrianisation of the city centre, and bus corridors. The Tunnel also improves access times for commuters to the various industrial estates as well as access to Shannon Airport, Galway, Dublin and Cork.
· It is estimated that during rush hour traffic (along the dock road in Limerick) can add an additional half hour to forty minutes to their commute. This tunnel project will remove that bottleneck.
· This phase starts at the Rossbrien Roundabout on the N7 and continues westward along 6 km of dual-lane dual-carriage way crossing Greenfields Road, St. Nessans Road, the Dock Road and Bunlicky Lake before diving under the Shannon through a 915m tunnel and emerging at Coonagh.
· The route continues North West for another 4 km before connecting with the N18 to Ennis or travelling North East along the Clonmacken Link to the Clonmacken Roundabout. The road also includes 11 bridges, 6 underpasses and two toll plazas for the collection of tolls.
Background Information on Tunnel
· Each tunnel element is approximately the length of a football pitch (100m), as high as a two storey house (8.5m), wide enough for two lanes of traffic in each direction (25m) and weighs in at 20,000 tonnes, giving a staggering combined weight of 100,000 tonnes.