To ask the Minister for Transport the preparatory work and planning that has been done in advance of the massive excavation and construction work due to take place at St. Stephen's Green; when he expects work on site to commence; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Fergus O'Dowd.
* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 13th March, 2008.
Ref No: 11192/08
Answered by the Minister for Transport
In October 2006 the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) announced the preferred route for Metro North which includes the St. Stephen's Green underground station. The planned station is to be situated predominantly beneath the North West corner of St. Stephen's Green park. This station will provide for interchange with the proposed Iarnród Éireann Interconnector station located to the east of the Metro station and at a deeper level.
It will also provide for interchange with the existing and proposed Luas lines. An extensive combined concourse is planned to serve both the Interconnector and Metro stations and provide for convenient interchange between both Metro and suburban rail services.
Iarnród Éireann and the Railway Procurement Agency are working closely together in designing the station for both Metro North and the Interconnector at St. Stephen's Green and in planning works on the site. The RPA has agreed to undertake advance works for Iarnród Éireann to ensure a timely transition in the work programme for both Metro North and the Interconnector.
In addition, Dublin City Council is developing a traffic management strategy to minimise the disruption caused to traffic from works at St. Stephen's Green.
The design of the Metro and Interconnector stations was developed within constraints agreed with the Office of Public Works and in consultation with the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Dublin City Council, and other key stakeholders. RPA hopes to be in a position to lodge an application for a railway order to An Bord Pleanála later this year in respect of Metro North. Works on Metro North will commence following the grant of a railway order.
To facilitate the sensitive heritage and environmental aspects in this area, specialists including conservation architects, archeologists, and arboriculturists are currently being taken on board to advise on these significant matters. RPA has agreed with OPW to carry out advance works including the protection and temporary removal of some existing features which will be reinstated post construction. A detailed landscaping plan to reinstate the park will also be agreed with the OPW. Prior to any work being carried out detailed surveys, reports and photographic records will be commissioned and agreed with OPW.