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2006
Dublin Port Tunnel
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2  November  2006

Dáil Question

No:  14 + 81

To ask the Minister for Transport the opening date for the Dublin Port Tunnel; and the final cost of the scheme.

- Liz McManus. (Nominated by: Róisín Shortall).

For ORAL answer on Thursday, 2nd November, 2006.

Ref No:   35768/06

Dáil Question

To ask the Minister for Transport the opening date of the Dublin Port Tunnel; if his officials have held discussions with relevant parties in relation to contingency plans to deal with the increased traffic on the M50 as a result of the opening; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

- Pat Breen. (Nominated by: Shane McEntee).

For ORAL answer on Thursday, 2nd November, 2006.

Ref No:   35794/06     Lottery:   84

Answered by Minister for Transport (Martin Cullen)

 

REPLY

I propose to answer Questions No. ­14 and

No. 81 together.

At the outset, I should explain that overall responsibility for the planning, design and implementation of national road improvement projects, including the Dublin Port Tunnel, is a matter for the National Roads Authority (NRA) and the local authorities concerned, in this case, Dublin City Council.

As regards the opening of the Tunnel, I understand that the main construction and installation work in the Tunnel was  completed in July.  The latest indication from Dublin City Council and the NRA is that the Tunnel will open in December.  However, in the interest of public safety, the exact opening date will be contingent on satisfactory completion of the testing and commissioning of the Tunnel's operational and safety features, including the training of operational and emergency services staff.

I understand from the NRA that the estimated cost of the Tunnel remains at €751 million, which has been the estimate for some time.

With regard to traffic management arrangements following the Tunnel's opening, I should explain that traffic management, in general, is a matter for the appropriate local authority in the area and in this case, that authority is Dublin City Council. I understand that Dublin City Council and the NRA are working together on traffic management measures within and on the approaches to the Tunnel involving road widening, lane configurations, speed limits, etc. to ensure the introduction of a co-ordinated strategy for the opening of the Tunnel.

My Department is also keeping in touch with all stakeholders, including the NRA and Dublin City Council, on a regular basis to ensure that a co-ordinated strategy is developed for the opening of the Tunnel, including its implications for the M50.