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Is 2012 the end of the road for the Republic?

  • 07-10-2010 7:50pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 3,010 ✭✭✭


    With the the MUI's due to be fully completed next month after the M7 Castletown-Nenagh scheme opens what else is left? The M18 Gort-Crusheen is due to open later this month and the Castleisland bypass around the same time which means road building has literally come to an end for at least 2 months.

    There will be little to no funding from the capital funds over the next 4-5 years only a 3km bypass scheme per year. What about the PPP's? After todays news about the construction of the M17/M18 in doubt will we ever see an extended M20, M11 and Newlands X upgrade?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,783 ✭✭✭Chris_5339762


    Newlands I reckon will be done regardless. Massive vote winner in any case.

    M20/11/17/etc could all be gone for the time being. They will get built eventually I'm sure.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭Amtmann


    This is an important question, because while the MIUs (i.e. the 'major inter-urban routes' such as the M7, M6 and M8) were necessary, what we are left with by and large after their completion is a schizophrenic road network characterised by highly variable quality.

    The country is in severe jeopardy and it is obvious that spending in all areas will be decimated. But this doesn't mean that roads (and other infrastructure) will never be built again. Improvements are still needed for environmental, economic and safety reasons. This important fact will not change and so the fundamental reasons for building new roads remain. That is the first point.
    The second point is that the benefits of new roads have been hammered into the minds of the public over the past ten years. Politicians and policy-makers also see the benefits, electorally and economically. Road-building remains a popular and fruitful enterprise and this, I think, means that it is unlikely to come to a complete halt.

    A third point involves a realistic appraisal of what needs to be done to the road network.
    We need to look at all of the proposed schemes proposed by the NRA and divide them into groups for prioritisation purposes.
    The first group in this post-MIU roads programme consists of familiar names:
    • M18/M17
    • M20
    • M11/N7
    • N25 New Ross Bypass.

    These are all in the PPP net for now and they should remain there. I will not write off the PPP process just yet on the basis of one undetailed article in a provincial newspaper. So for now let's just leave those schemes there.

    The second group of proposed (non-PPP) schemes is extensive. Most of these (92 I think) were suspended in late 2009 at the insistence of the Greens. Many might now need to be cancelled outright. A more fundamental list of vital roads needs to be drawn up.
    Whether or not a scheme gets prioritised should be determined by two criteria alone: economic impact and improved national connectivity. Thus major urban schemes such as the N6 Galway Bypass, the N28 and the N25 upgrades around Cork City should go ahead; but schemes in remoter parts of the west (for instance) that are not crucial for connecting various parts of the island, or proposed schemes that would be built and used entirely within one county or within one region, with no real national significance, should be done away with entirely.

    Schemes that do connect multiple regions - e.g. the N24 which links the SE, the Mid-West and the West - should be retained.

    In my view these critical schemes should be identified and should all be brought to the EIS approval stage so that they are prepared and ready to roll. There should be no more than ten schemes and these should be targetted for completion in 2021. Note that these would all be fairly substantial schemes either in terms of kilometre length (e.g. N24 Pallasgreen to Cahir) or complexity and expense (e.g. Dunkettle).

    In terms of the cost of road construction, that is decreasing. So, with the MIUs out of the picture, the question is what can the NRA do in terms of new builds with a budget of €400 million per year? Forgetting about the PPPs for a moment, I think with that the NRA should attempt to get just one key scheme of national significance started per annum. If any funds remain, these should go towards removing dangerous bends from non-vital road schemes or completing what we might call micro-schemes with relatively high advantages such as the Longford or Slane Bypasses. The micro-scheme concept should be no more than 5km long and consist of Type 2 DC as an absolute maximum standard.

    In order to achieve this new programme based strictly on prioritisation, certain schemes will need to be abandoned. The M25 element of the Atlantic Corridor needs to go for instance. In fact, once Cork is connected to Galway by DC, the Atlantic Corridor should be considered done. Schemes in west Cork and Kerry might also need to be axed because unfortunately they would not fulfil the criteria I set out above: economic benefit and the linkage of multiple regions in a way that is nationally crucial.

    In summary:

    1) Advance the PPPs
    2) Cut out all unnecessary upgrades
    3) Identify 10 vital schemes and progress these to the EIS stage
    4) Aim to deliver these by 2021
    5) Deliver micro-schemes with what ever remains on a case-by-case basis.

    If the current round of PPPs cannot be backed by consortia, then they are still ready to be built and should be funded piecemeal by the exchequer in the period between now and 2021. The next most vital schemes should be targeted for completion by 2030. In this scenario, your Enniscorthy or New Ross bypasses could be skipped in the queue by an N28 upgrade for instance; it would all depend on economic return.

    Of course, we have no idea how long the downturn will last. The situation might impove sooner rather than later. If it doesn't, however, then we will be looking at a falling population and a lower spec of road will be demanded.

    Sorry for the rambling post...


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob


    All capital spending is now done with borrowed money, as certain relatively cheap funding is in place from the EIB for Tuam Gort and Newlands Arklow I can see them going forward. Much of the land is bought and fenced for those two. I am other than hopeful for the other 2 PPPs.

    Arklow, essentially as a standalone 'Build' contract would come in at around €80m I should think. Newlands at €30m or so. The much longer Lucan scheme cost €75m at peak construction costs.

    M18 segment €100m tops, Tuam Bypass €20m-30m .

    However I really cannot see any other PPP getting out of the traps and that of course includes Metro North and the Dart Interconnector which would each probably cost more to build than all the proposed roads PPPs would together.

    My inclination now is to keep good teams like BAM Roadbridge SIAC Wills Elliot going with small jobs for the next 2 -3 years meaning one Arklow scale ( at most) project , at most, each. That is to maintain capacity to expand in future...it took so many years to build that capacity in the first place.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,104 ✭✭✭nordydan


    Furet wrote: »
    This is an important question, because while the MIUs (i.e. the 'major inter-urban routes' such as the M7, M6 and M8) were necessary, what we are left with by and large after their completion is a schizophrenic road network characterised by highly variable quality.

    The country is in severe jeopardy and it is obvious that spending in all areas will be decimated. But this doesn't mean that roads (and other infrastructure) will never be built again. Improvements are still needed for environmental, economic and safety reasons. This important fact will not change and so the fundamental reasons for building new roads remain. That is the first point.
    The second point is that the benefits of new roads have been hammered into the minds of the public over the past ten years. Politicians and policy-makers also see the benefits, electorally and economically. Road-building remains a popular and fruitful enterprise and this, I think, means that it is unlikely to come to a complete halt.

    A third point involves a realistic appraisal of what needs to be done to the road network.
    We need to look at all of the proposed schemes proposed by the NRA and divide them into groups for prioritisation purposes.
    The first group in this post-MIU roads programme consists of familiar names:
    • M18/M17
    • M20
    • M11/N7
    • N25 New Ross Bypass.

    These are all in the PPP net for now and they should remain there. I will not write off the PPP process just yet on the basis of one undetailed article in a provincial newspaper. So for now let's just leave those schemes there.

    The second group of proposed (non-PPP) schemes is extensive. Most of these (92 I think) were suspended in late 2009 at the insistence of the Greens. Many might now need to be cancelled outright. A more fundamental list of vital roads needs to be drawn up.
    Whether or not a scheme gets prioritised should be determined by two criteria alone: economic impact and improved national connectivity. Thus major urban schemes such as the N6 Galway Bypass, the N28 and the N25 upgrades around Cork City should go ahead; but schemes in remoter parts of the west (for instance) that are not crucial for connecting various parts of the island, or proposed schemes that would be built and used entirely within one county or within one region, with no real national significance, should be done away with entirely.

    Schemes that do connect multiple regions - e.g. the N24 which links the SE, the Mid-West and the West - should be retained.

    In my view these critical schemes should be identified and should all be brought to the EIS approval stage so that they are prepared and ready to roll. There should be no more than ten schemes and these should be targetted for completion in 2021. Note that these would all be fairly substantial schemes either in terms of kilometre length (e.g. N24 Pallasgreen to Cahir) or complexity and expense (e.g. Dunkettle).

    In terms of the cost of road construction, that is decreasing. So, with the MIUs out of the picture, the question is what can the NRA do in terms of new builds with a budget of €400 million per year? Forgetting about the PPPs for a moment, I think with that the NRA should attempt to get just one key scheme of national significance started per annum. If any funds remain, these should go towards removing dangerous bends from non-vital road schemes or completing what we might call micro-schemes with relatively high advantages such as the Longford or Slane Bypasses. The micro-scheme concept should be no more than 5km long and consist of Type 2 DC as an absolute maximum standard.

    In order to achieve this new programme based strictly on prioritisation, certain schemes will need to be abandoned. The M25 element of the Atlantic Corridor needs to go for instance. In fact, once Cork is connected to Galway by DC, the Atlantic Corridor should be considered done. Schemes in west Cork and Kerry might also need to be axed because unfortunately they would not fulfil the criteria I set out above: economic benefit and the linkage of multiple regions in a way that is nationally crucial.

    In summary:

    1) Advance the PPPs
    2) Cut out all unnecessary upgrades
    3) Identify 15 vital schemes and progress these to the EIS stage
    4) Aim to have delivered 10 of these by 2021
    5) Deliver micro-schemes with what ever remains on a case-by-case basis.

    If the current round of PPPs cannot be backed by consortia, then they are still ready to be built and should be funded piecemeal by the exchequer in the period between now and 2021. The next most vital schemes should be targeted for completion by 2030. In this scenario, your Enniscorthy or New Ross bypasses could be skipped in the queue by an N28 upgrade for instance; it would all depend on economic return.

    Of course, we have no idea how long the downturn will last. The situation might impove sooner rather than later. If it doesn't, however, then we will be looking at a falling population and a lower spec of road will be demanded.

    Sorry for the rambling post...

    Sums up my opinion exactly


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,017 ✭✭✭invinciblePRSTV


    Furet's post is all well and good, and in an idealized world might be a practical guide to how to plan roads spending. However last time i checked what gets built still depends on political patronage to push the project through to funding stage. I can't see this situation changing anytime in the near future, especially when 2 Western based/originated TDs will be in the Taoiseach & Tanaiste positions.

    For me if there is any kind of money available i'd put a significant porportion into a secondary roads upgrade programme and upgrade of urban arterial routes. Not every where needs M-way and a decent wide S2 will do the job instead (i know the argument put forward that the cost of building a newbuild S2 is the same as a DC, but i argue for online upgrades of existing secondary routes, not new builds) This includes schemes like the N24, N25 and perhaps even the N20.

    In short spend our limited resources where the traffic is now and where the most pressing need for upgrades are needed. Putting blue lines on a map in the name of regional development sounds great but the reality is empty M-ways linking minor urban settlements dotted across the Irish countryside is not cost effective, which has to be the primary reason for any scheme to go ahead in this climate. Upgrading public transport and roads in and around our urban areas - where the majority of the Irish population lives and where the vast majority of tax money is earned - along with connecting the regions via modestly priced upgrades of existing routes (where possible) should be at the heart of any future review of DoT policy to transport spending priorities.

    Maybe one day in the future Ireland may find itself in a position once again to fund Mways to every small urban settlement on the island. But prudence needs to be exercised for the foreseeable future. I don't like it, you don't like it, but "we are where we are".


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭Amtmann


    Furet's post is all well and good, and in an idealized world might be a practical guide to how to plan roads spending. However last time i checked what gets built still depends on political patronage to push the project through to funding stage. I can't see this situation changing anytime in the near future, especially when 2 Western based/originated TDs will be in the Taoiseach & Tanaiste positions.

    This is interesting. Can anyone name a few examples of where schemes were advanced definitely because of political pressure?

    The Oireachtas reports make fascinating reading. Here we have Fred Barry in 2006 bombarded with requests from various TDs to get aspects of the N24, the N62, the N52 and the N18 advanced. But the man doesn't flinch. He simply tells all the TDs that he has been directed to get the MIUs completed and they'll just have to put up with it.

    Here is Fred again, this time in 2009:
    Deputy Fergus O’Dowd: Last year we had evidence in the form of the Martin Kelly report. Mr. Barry was not familiar with it at the time. I sought a copy of it through a freedom of information request and it was only due to the intervention of the Information Commissioner, on appeal, that the report was released to me. The Egis report, which was discussed here in draft form, was released to me as well and it was only at that time I saw its conclusions.

    The key point in this serious matter is that both of these reports — from October 2007 and May 2008 — make it clear that the tunnel was unsafe. The recommendation of the Egis report was very clear. It stated, “Considering all the results and the lack of reliability and considering our experience in the past with very similar systems that could never be improved or be made reliable, we are convinced a replacement of the system should be favoured”. Is the tunnel safe and has the system been completely replaced as recommended by that report?

    Mr. Fred Barry: The best way to deal with the question of whether the tunnel is safe is to read some statements we have from some of the participants.

    Deputy Fergus O’Dowd: That is not the question I asked. I did not ask about statements. I have two professional reports commissioned by the NRA and kept secret from me and which we were given to me after the intervention of the Information Commissioner. I am asking if the tunnel is safe. Has the SCADA system been completely replaced? It is a “Yes” or a “No” answer.

    Mr. Fred Barry: With respect, I will answer in whatever fashion I see fit.

    A deputy here asks Mr Barry what is essentially a question on scheme prioritisation:

    Deputy Thomas P. Broughan: I am representing my colleague Senator Hannigan today. The N2 is a road in its own right. The NRA made a decision to build the dual carriageway out towards Ashbourne, with which I am familiar, although I am not as familiar with the road beyond that. Who decided about the bypass? There are so many towns screaming for bypasses around the country and we focus on Slane — rightly so, based on the strong case made by my colleagues here. I was in Claregalway, for example, where people are very upset they will not get a bypass. We have heard this story for so many key towns along the N7 and N9, although many of these have now been dealt with. Who decided we would not do this incredibly necessary job for Slane two years ago? In other words, why is it not already built? Why are we only at the planning stage? Why are we going to put the people of Slane through two or three more years of agony?

    Mr. Fred Barry: The national development plan and Transport 21 set out transportation policies over the ten years of Transport 21, and they also set out priorities for the early phases of it. Some of the works had already gone towards tender or construction at the time the policy was launched, and then the major inter-urban routes were given priority. After that, we were to prioritise work on the Atlantic corridor, with which Deputy Fahey will be familiar, and this has led to the sequencing of the inter-urbans over the past few years, although they will be done next year as per plan, and the other works that were already down the line when Transport 21 began.

    This is interesting too:
    Deputy Healy: It is only fair to acknowledge the work done. I come from south Tipperary where an amount of work has been done or is under way at Cashel, Mitchelstown, Cullohill and the east-west Cahir bypass. There is serious concern at all levels in the county, right up to the highest level in the county council and at a political level, on the lack of progress on the N24. It is a national primary route that is a significant road for the county. It is particularly important at either end of the county in terms of Tipperary town and its bypass and the west Tipperary area, and to the east of the county in the Carrick-on-Suir area and its bypass.

    Given that matters have gone so well for the NRA and many jobs have come in ahead of schedule and on budget, is there any possibility that the two bypasses to which I referred could be prioritised and brought forward, as the current position is that no building can be done before 2010? That timescale is unacceptable. These two bypasses are crucial for the further development of the county and there is serious concern at the highest levels in the county from both an economic and social point of view. Can Mr. Barry offer any hope that these two issues will be dealt with, because it is a glaring omission in the NRA’s programme?

    Mr. Barry: The N24 upgrade is specifically included as part of the Transport 21 plan. We are doing the planning works with the local authority for the upgrade. Some work in this regard has been carried out this year and the work will continue next year. When it comes to releasing the project for construction the comments I have made in regard to other projects apply equally to the N24.

    Deputy Healy: But this is a national primary route.

    Mr. Barry: As are the N17 and N18, with respect. That is not to lessen the case for the N24. In Transport 21 we will be doing as much construction in the last year as we are doing in the first year. It is a ten-year programme with a ten-year funding envelope. Much as we would like to do all the work in the earlier years, it will be spread evenly over that time. We cannot change that.

    Deputy Healy: Is there no possibility that the project can be brought forward? I accept that the N17 and N18 are important but this work is crucial. The N24 is probably the worst national primary route in the country and little or no work has been done on it to date.

    Mr. Barry: I am afraid the answer to that question is the same as I have given to everybody else. If more money is available then we can advance some of this work and do it sooner.

    Deputy Healy: I thought I understood Mr. Barry to say there might be possibilities towards the end of the current programme. Is there any possibility that these projects can be expedited at that time?

    Mr. Barry: In the happy event that money is available earlier than has been scheduled, the decision as to what happens will be made close to the time. It would not be made years in advance, even if circumstances were to change in the interim.

    Deputy Healy: If a window arises towards the end of this programme, would the N24 and these two projects in particular be on the NRA’s priority list for that work?

    Mr. Barry: They would be in consideration but it would not be right for me to say at this meeting whether we will do the Tuam bypass or the Carrick-on-Suir bypass first when all of the projects are still some years away. That decision should be made in light of the most current information.

    Deputy Healy: What is the earliest date at which we will see construction on the Tipperary town bypass?

    Mr. Barry: As of now, it will be constructed and completed within the timeframe of Transport 21. I will not give the Deputy a starting date for the work because I am not in a position to do so.

    Deputy Healy: What is the end of the timeframe for Transport 21?

    Mr. Barry: The latest date for completion is 2015.

    Deputy Healy: Is nothing earlier than that possible?

    Mr. Barry: I am sorry but I have already repeated myself.

    Deputy Healy: I am disappointed with that. There is serious concern about that route in particular in south Tipperary at all levels. I urge the NRA to re-examine the situation with a view to bringing it forward at the very least to the next tranche of work and, if at all possible, to bring it into the later phases of the current work programme.

    Especially when you compare it with this exchange about the N24, which took place just a few days later:
    Mr. Healy: As regards the transfer of €110 million, I see it is being allocated for urban routes. Is that correct?

    Mr. Cullen: The NRA used it in purchasing a good deal of land in advance of some of the projects. That obviously brings about savings as we go forward. It was able to commence some sections in advance. In particular, the Cashel to Mitchelstown section commenced ahead of schedule because we shifted money to do that.

    Mr. Healy: The figure is €110 million. Would it not have been an option to bring forward some of the major road programmes that are necessary and urgent, such as the N24, the Tipperary town bypass and the Carrick-on-Suir town bypass? As the Minister well knows, that route is a key to both social and economic development right across the south of the country, particularly through south Tipperary into Waterford.

    Mr. Cullen: It is a route to which I am very committed.

    Mr. Healy: Mr. Barry was before the committee last week and told us that route will not be constructed before 2015. That is a long time away. The Tipperary town bypass is crucially important for west Tipperary. I suggested to Mr. Barry that if funds become available, as they have, it might be possible to start some of those key projects. Deputy Connaughton talked about the M16 and M17 as well. I am really asking what commitment there is for those N24 routes. Will we have to wait until 2015 and 2016, as Mr. Barry told us last week?

    Mr. Cullen: The €110 million transferred would not even buy the land to do the route. The costs of purchasing land and the statutory processes do not allow that type of money to make a difference in terms of a significant road project. I am well aware of the N24, and I am anxious to speed up that process. I have been looking at it, as has the NRA, in terms of getting as much done in terms of the design, the completion of planning and the CPO process, which are quite lengthy and involved processes. However, the N24 — which I agree is a key route — effectively from Limerick to Rosslare is provided for in Transport 21 and it will be delivered. There is no question about that.

    Mr. Healy: It will be 2015, however.

    Mr. Cullen: The Deputy might let me finish, because his area is benefiting as much as every other region throughout the country from what is happening at the moment.

    Mr. Healy: I acknowledge last week to Mr. Barry, as I do now, that the N8 programme and the Cahir bypass were crucial and I welcome that work. However, the N24 is a very important route.

    Mr. Cullen: I am just making the point to the Deputy that we want to complete the five major inter-urban routes as quickly as possible, which I believe to be the right decision. The pace at which we were doing those projects was too slow. I would like to do more. My budget for roads this year and next is more than €1.5 billion. An extra €500 million will come in through PPPs, bringing it to more than €2 billion. My colleague, the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, and the local authorities will certainly spend up to €1 billion on roads as well. That is unprecedented spending, and while I agree that we cannot solve all the problems overnight, we certainly need to move at a pace that will ensure we get through this entire problem and resolve the issues raised here this morning. I acknowledge the importance of the N24, which has advanced a good deal. I hope to see further advancement of the N24 next year as it passes through the relevant processes.

    Mr. Healy: An opportunity is being lost. No one expects the N24 to be built tomorrow, obviously, but there was an opportunity to bring the project into the current phase so that at least it could commence.

    Mr. Cullen: It is on standby——

    Mr. Healy: It will be after 2010.

    Mr. Cullen: It is a standby project in the period 2007-10. That is as soon as I can do it.

    Mr. Healy: Mr. Barry told us there was no question of it starting before 2010. It is not even a priority after that. I am asking the Minister to look at it again and see whether it is at all possible to bring that project even into the final phases, up to 2010.

    Mr. Cullen: We shall await the roads programme for next year, and I believe the Deputy might be happy.

    Mr. Healy: Can that be taken as a commitment?

    Mr. Cullen: The Deputy can take it at face value. I believe he will be happy when he sees the roads programme for next year.

    These transcripts are fascinating, because they they reveal the powerlessness of our TDs when confronted by the NRA (and the sheer mendacity of former Minister Cullen). Some TDs get very frustrated when dealing with Mr Barry. I don't think TDs have any impact on whether or not a certain scheme is progressed. The Minister of the day directs the NRA to pursue a certain strategy and the NRA have free rein thereafter to achieve that strategy. Backbenchers are curtailed by the whip system, and Independents usually don't have the power, influence or interest to sway the advancement of big schemes. The cabinet defines the target and the NRA fires the shots at it.
    Not every where needs M-way and a decent wide S2 will do the job instead (i know the argument put forward that the cost of building a newbuild S2 is the same as a DC, but i argue for online upgrades of existing secondary routes, not new builds) This includes schemes like the N24, N25 and perhaps even the N20.

    No one is seriously advocating any more motorways beyond the currently proposed PPP Atlantic Corridor and M11 routes, where motorway standard carriageways are required. You cannot do an online upgrade of the N24 because of the road's geometry, alignment and the fact that there are hundreds of private accesses along it. Therefore it has to be offline and, in any case, a motorway is not planned for it.
    In short spend our limited resources where the traffic is now and where the most pressing need for upgrades are needed. Putting blue lines on a map in the name of regional development sounds great but the reality is empty M-ways linking minor urban settlements dotted across the Irish countryside is not cost effective, which has to be the primary reason for any scheme to go ahead in this climate.

    I agree, but what motorways would you cancel/downscale? All that is proposed, motorway-wise, needs to go ahead in my opinion - with the exception of the M11 between Oilgate and Rosslare, where a motorway standard is probably not required. The M20 and M18/M17 are required. I've said above that, excluding the LOR (which should not go to construction until post-2020 and probably even post-2025), no new motorways should be built or planned.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,017 ✭✭✭invinciblePRSTV


    Furet wrote: »
    This is interesting. Can anyone name a few examples of where schemes were advanced definitely because of political pressure?

    It's difficult to give definite examples simply because which current politician is going to readliy admit in detail their lobbying of Cabinet & departments to the public? In years to come FOI & the inevitable autobiographies will probably tell all.
    Furet wrote: »
    The Oireachtas reports make fascinating reading. Here we have Fred Barry in 2006 bombarded with requests from various TDs to get aspects of the N24, the N62, the N52 and the N18 advanced. But the man doesn't flinch. He simply tells all the TDs that he has been directed to get the MIUs completed and they'll just have to put up with it.

    Here is Fred again, this time in 2009:



    A deputy here asks Mr Barry what is essentially a question on scheme prioritisation:

    Deputy Thomas P. Broughan: I am representing my colleague Senator Hannigan today. The N2 is a road in its own right. The NRA made a decision to build the dual carriageway out towards Ashbourne, with which I am familiar, although I am not as familiar with the road beyond that. Who decided about the bypass? There are so many towns screaming for bypasses around the country and we focus on Slane — rightly so, based on the strong case made by my colleagues here. I was in Claregalway, for example, where people are very upset they will not get a bypass. We have heard this story for so many key towns along the N7 and N9, although many of these have now been dealt with. Who decided we would not do this incredibly necessary job for Slane two years ago? In other words, why is it not already built? Why are we only at the planning stage? Why are we going to put the people of Slane through two or three more years of agony?

    Mr. Fred Barry: The national development plan and Transport 21 set out transportation policies over the ten years of Transport 21, and they also set out priorities for the early phases of it. Some of the works had already gone towards tender or construction at the time the policy was launched, and then the major inter-urban routes were given priority. After that, we were to prioritise work on the Atlantic corridor, with which Deputy Fahey will be familiar, and this has led to the sequencing of the inter-urbans over the past few years, although they will be done next year as per plan, and the other works that were already down the line when Transport 21 began.

    This is interesting too:



    Especially when you compare it with this exchange about the N24, which took place just a few days later:



    These transcripts are fascinating, because they they reveal the powerlessness of our TDs when confronted by the NRA (and the sheer mendacity of former Minister Cullen). Some TDs get very frustrated when dealing with Mr Barry. I don't think TDs have any impact on whether or not a certain scheme is progressed. The Minister of the day directs the NRA to pursue a certain strategy and the NRA have free rein thereafter to achieve that strategy. Backbenchers are curtailed by the whip system, and Independents usually don't have the power, influence or interest to sway the advancement of big schemes. The cabinet defines the target and the NRA fires the shots at it.

    Do you really think members of the cabinet aren't receptive, or above, to being canvassed by other national & local politicians, and voter groups in the guise of local groups & specia; interest groups? Lol c'mon Furet, this is Ireland.


    Furet wrote: »
    No one is seriously advocating any more motorways beyond the currently proposed PPP Atlantic Corridor and M11 routes, where motorway standard carriageways are required. You cannot do an online upgrade of the N24 because of the road's geometry, alignment and the fact that there are hundreds of private accesses along it. Therefore it has to be offline and, in any case, a motorway is not planned for it.

    Motorways or Dual Carriageways whatever, it's all the same when it comes to the bottom line. Advocating for a new build DC when there will be a major squeeze on public finances means that projects like a new N24 will have to be put on the back burner in favour of smaller more critical road schemes in and around our urban areas which will have guaranteed higher AADTS then a greenfield DC.


    Furet wrote: »
    I agree, but what motorways would you cancel/downscale? All that is proposed, motorway-wise, needs to go ahead in my opinion - with the exception of the M11 between Oilgate and Rosslare, where a motorway standard is probably not required. The M20 and M18/M17 are required. I've said above that, excluding the LOR (which should not go to construction until post-2020 and probably even post-2025), no new motorways should be built or planned.


    I'd argue that the public transport deficit in and between our major urban areas deserves priority above future strategic roads spending. I think beyond upgrades of arterial routes around the urban areas, and perhaps (obviously depending if there is any cash and confidence left in Ireland) completion of the AC and funding for upgrades of secondary national routes then Ireland is done for the foreseeable future with big ticket road projects.

    That is until of course a new boom emerges.:pac:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭Amtmann


    It's difficult to give definite examples simply because which current politician is going to readliy admit in detail their lobbying of Cabinet & departments to the public? In years to come FOI & the inevitable autobiographies will probably tell all.

    Do you really think members of the cabinet aren't receptive, or above, to being canvassed by other national & local politicians, and voter groups in the guise of local groups & specia; interest groups? Lol c'mon Furet, this is Ireland.

    I think they are receptive, but whether or not they choose to act on that is another thing entirely. It's clear that the priorities were the MIUs over the past six years and that these were advanced in many cases well ahead of schemes that would have been locally vital, or even over other national routes that should have been done. Michael Martin and Batt O'Keeffe: two Cork cabinet ministers, yet what Cork schemes were advanced over the past three or four years? The N25 interchanges? Carrigtwohill to Midleton? The North Ring? Macroom to Ballyvourney? None is the answer to that. None except for Mitchelstown to Watergrasshill, and that because it formed part of the MIU strategy. Another worthy example: M11 Arklow to Rathnew - shelved continuously despite the fact that Dick Roche (TD for that area) is a cabinet member. Even in constituencies where FF did very well in the last election, such as South Tipp, the elected TDs have not been able to get very important schemes advanced because the MIUs came first.

    The only spectacular example I can think of in recent years of a region getting a great road in "suspicious" circumstances would be Martin Cullen and the M9, which was not called for in the Road Needs Study. But Cullen didn't canvass; he didn't need to. He was the Minister.

    I'm not saying it never happens that a TD affects roads policy, I'm just saying I don't think TDs are generally successful at it at all.

    Motorways or Dual Carriageways whatever, it's all the same when it comes to the bottom line.

    It isn't. There's a big difference between a Type 2 Dual Carriageway and a HQDC/motorway in terms of landtake, design complexity and cost.
    Advocating for a new build DC when there will be a major squeeze on public finances means that projects like a new N24 will have to be put on the back burner in favour of smaller more critical road schemes in and around our urban areas which will have guaranteed higher AADTS then a greenfield DC.

    I agree in almost all cases with that proposition. I am all in favour of doing the Galway Bypass, the Cork North Ring, the N28 and Dunkettle before the N24. But the N24's case is particularly good for a "non-urban" new build because it links Waterford with Limerick and Galway. It's actually one of the most strategic roads in the country and would boost the economy of the SE and Midwest and save an average of six lives per year (see here).
    I'd argue that the public transport deficit in and between our major urban areas deserves priority above future strategic roads spending.

    Yes, but motorways between the cities means a proper competitive bus service can be provided. Within cities, you cannot supply proper public transport until you get a lot of the through traffic out of the way and flowing freely so that buses and light rail can convey people hither and thither without being stuck in traffic.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭Amtmann


    So, 2011 is the end of the road for the N21 at any rate.

    My wish list for full delivery up to 2020 is as follows:
    • M20 Cork to Limerick
    • M17/M18
    • M11 Arklow-Rathnew
    • N24 Waterford to Limerick
    • N28 Cork-Ringaskiddy
    • N22 Cork North Ring
    • N25 SRR interchanges
    • N22 Macroom to Ballyvourney
    • N8/N25 Dunkettle Interchange
    • N6 Galway Outer Bypass
    • N25 New Ross Bypass
    • M11 Gorey to Enniscorthy (Enniscorthy Bypass)

    along with a smattering of short (ca. 3-5km) bypasses where needed. The rest I can take or leave at this stage, with the possible exception of the Dungarvan Bypass.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,735 ✭✭✭Irish and Proud


    While current road building is obviously just a shadow of times past, I think the answer to the title of this thread is a firm NO!!!

    As of Jan 2012...

    Under Construction (approximate distances):

    M1 J3 to J4 Widening and J4 Upgrade (4km - Part 8 Scheme);
    N2 Monaghan Town to Clontibret (series of Part 8 Schemes);
    N3 Belturbet Bypass (7km NRA Scheme);
    N4 Downs Grade Separation and Overlay (5.7km NRA Scheme);
    N5 Longford Bypass (2.6km NRA Scheme);
    N6 Lynch Roundabout Reconfiguration (Part 8 Scheme);
    N17 Castletown Realignment (chancing my arm here! - Part 8);
    N22/N69 Tralee Bypass (13.5km NRA Scheme);
    N25 CSRR Sarsfield and Bandon Road Overpasses (3km NRA Scheme);
    N51 Little Grange Realignment (0.8km Part 8 Scheme);
    N52 Macetown Realignment (1.5km Part 8 Scheme);
    N52 Carrickbridge Realignment (5.6km NRA Scheme);
    N87 Ballyconnell (1km NRA Scheme).

    (and of course, that's not all of them)

    To Commence 2012

    N5 Ballaghaderreen Bypass (13.6km NRA Scheme);
    N7 Newlands Cross (NRA (part of PPP) Scheme);
    N11 Arklow to Rathnew (16km NRA (part of PPP) Scheme)

    (and that's obviously only the NRA schemes)

    Thank God for that! D

    PS. I'm out of time, but will get back to this list tomorrow sometime!


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob


    N17 Castletown Realignment (chancing my arm here! - Part 8);

    Starting within 2-4 weeks.
    (and of course, that's not all of them)

    To be sure. This is the 'minor works' list. LVNS is a Type 3 job.

    http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=76586040&postcount=189

    Minor Works Construction Starts 2012 Length in km Contracting Authority

    N51 Littlegrange Road Improvement Scheme Louth County Council
    N52 Rathconnell to Macetown Realignment 1.5 Westmeath County Council
    N25 RSMIS Begerin 2.5 Wexford County Council
    N86 Annascaul to Gortbreagoge LVNS 4.2 Kerry County Council
    N56 Cloghbolie to Boyoughter LVNS 3.3 Donegal County Council
    M1 Drynam to Lissenhall Widening Scheme € Fingal County Council
    N55 Corduff to Ballytrust Realignment Scheme m Cavan County Council
    N6 Athlone Bypass Junction Upgrades Westmeath County Council
    N59 Kilbride Road Improvement LVNS 2.85 Mayo County Council
    N53 Realignment Barrownstown to Newtownbalregan 3.5 Louth County Council
    N17 Castletown Realignment — Pavement & Minor Works 2.3 Galway County Council
    N6 Bothar na dTreabh Cyclewayl Pedestrian Improvements 12 Galway City Council
    MSA Tranche 2 Advance Works O NRA
    M7/N24 Ballysimon Junction 2 Limerick County Council
    N69 Rea to Tullig Realignment Scheme 3.5 Kerry County Council
    N62 RSMIS Birr to Cloghan and Doon Cross Offaly County Council
    N72 Realignment at Carrig m Cork County Council
    N67 Crag Realignment Clare County Council
    N21 Killarney Pole to Barnagh Road Safety Scheme 2 Limerick County Council
    N2 Monaghan to Emyvale Improvements Phase 2 2 Monaghan County Council
    N2 RSMIS Bends between Monaghan and Emyvale 2.5 Monaghan County Council
    N72 Bridgetown Upper/Castletownroche Overlay Scheme 2.5 Cork County Council
    N69 Bolane Bends Road Safety Scheme 1 Limerick County Council
    N67 Ballinderreen to Kinvara Realignment Scheme 4 Galway County Council
    N55 Dundavan Mullaghoran Realignment Scheme 2.7 Cavan County Council
    N52 Congarl Ballyluskey realignment 2.2 North Tipperary County Council
    N24 Brooks Bridge/Oola Bridge 0.3 Limerick County Council
    N4 Ardloy Bend Realignment 1.3 Sligo County Council
    N17 Carrownurlaur Realignment Scheme 1.4 Galway County Council
    N59 Farrenyharpey to Ballygreighan Realignment 3 Sligo County Council
    N51 Dunmoe Phase 2 Meath County Council

    National Roads Authority Confidential 09/01/2012 __________________


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,686 ✭✭✭✭Zubeneschamali


    N6 Lynch Roundabout Reconfiguration (Part 8 Scheme)

    This is the one at Briarhill/Parkmore/Western Motors, and it's finished, the roundabout is gone.

    The next one along (Morris? the one at the end of the Dual Cabbageway) is due to start shortly.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 624 ✭✭✭Aidan1


    Can anyone name a few examples of where schemes were advanced definitely because of political pressure?

    The M9, and a couple of projects in Kerry, for a start ...

    It's critical to remember that TDs (either opposition or Govt) have relatively little power, the key person is always the Minister, and then the Taoiseach. Even within Govts (by which I mean the 15 politicians at the cabinet table), there is only a limited amount of pressure that other Ministers can apply to get things done, particularly once a programme of works is set. Ministers, on the other hand, can talk directly to officials and poke around in the mechanics, should they be so inclined.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,106 ✭✭✭antoobrien



    The next one along (Morris? the one at the end of the Dual Cabbageway) is due to start shortly.

    Don't remember seeing/hearing a tender award.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,106 ✭✭✭antoobrien


    Tremelo wrote: »

    My wish list for full delivery up to 2020 is as follows:
    • NX
    • M20 Cork to Limerick
    • M17/M18
    • N6 Galway Outer Bypass
    • M11 Arklow-Rathnew
    • N22 Cork North Ring
    • N25 SRR interchanges
    • N24 Waterford to Limerick
    • N28 Cork-Ringaskiddy
    • N22 Macroom to Ballyvourney
    • N8/N25 Dunkettle Interchange
    • N25 New Ross Bypass
    • M11 Gorey to Enniscorthy (Enniscorthy Bypass)

    I know I'm being a bit greedy here Tremelo, but I'd really hate to see Doughiska (end of the M6 into Galway) turn into another Dunkelttle / Red cow - which is a real possibility if the GCOB isn't started soon after M17/18 (yes I know we're stuck in the courts on it but still).

    I've also thrown in NX (despite it being packaged with N11 Arklow) because I think this is needed to get access into/out of Dublin totally sorted


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,686 ✭✭✭✭Zubeneschamali


    "Galway City Council has confirmed that construction work on removing Font roundabout (Tuam Road) and Morris roundabout (Ballybane) will commence in mid-February."

    http://www.galwaynews.ie/23702-more-mayhem-looming-three-roundabouts-set-be-removed


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,437 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    I'd almost bet that removing Bodkin (stated for March there) will make things worse and not better.

    I would have had Kirwan as higher priority than it also.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,283 ✭✭✭dubhthach


    MYOB wrote: »
    I'd almost bet that removing Bodkin (stated for March there) will make things worse and not better.

    I would have had Kirwan as higher priority than it also.

    Indeed I remember there been articles in local papers back in the late 90's early 00's that there was a flyover needed at Bodkin. I can't imagine how it's gonna be as a signalised junction.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,735 ✭✭✭Irish and Proud


    Interesting material from the Dept' of Transport's Website today.

    Included is €12m for the R402 Enfield to Edenderry Road Improvement Scheme - Of this 11km scheme, over 8.9km of it will be constructed as Type 1 Single - a large scheme, even by current NRA standards.

    Wonder if anyone can get their hands on a route layout map?

    Many Thanks!


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 12,333 Mod ✭✭✭✭JupiterKid


    Interesting material from the Dept' of Transport's Website today.

    Included is €12m for the R402 Enfield to Edenderry Road Improvement Scheme - Of this 11km scheme, over 8.9km of it will be constructed as Type 1 Single - a large scheme, even by current NRA standards.

    Wonder if anyone can get their hands on a route layout map?

    Many Thanks!


    That's a very badly needed road improvement scheme. The existing Enfield - Edenderry road is extremely twisty and narrow and carries quite a lot of traffic because of the much expanded Edenderry.


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  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,437 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    There's quite a number of schemes going ahead with very poor public maps, either due to the maps being ancient and having vanished or never having been published at all...


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,106 ✭✭✭antoobrien


    Interesting material from the Dept' of Transport's Website today.

    Good to see mention of funding for the Wolfe Tone Bridge, Baile Chlair Relief Road (aka Claregalway bypass) Design & the Galway City Western Route - all of which are bably needed.

    Funny to see them misspell Athenry as Athnenry, though it makes you wonder, for some schemes are there one or two too many zeros in the numbers.;)


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob


    The Galway City Western Route is the west part of the Bypass now downgraded to R336 East...I was just told. NRA now only responsible from N59 to Airport no matter what comes out of the EU Courts.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,106 ✭✭✭antoobrien


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    The Galway City Western Route is the west part of the Bypass now downgraded to R336 East...I was just told. NRA now only responsible from N59 to Airport no matter what comes out of the EU Courts.

    So this is route selection part II for N59 west?


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob


    Precisely Anto.R336 will start at Glenlo Abbey on N59 so that will be the East R336 not the West N6


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,735 ✭✭✭Irish and Proud


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    The Galway City Western Route is the west part of the Bypass now downgraded to R336 East...I was just told. NRA now only responsible from N59 to Airport no matter what comes out of the EU Courts.

    ...well not all is lost - the Western section is listed as a strategic regional route which I guess means that it's still regarded as important in the national sense. The only thing I'd be worried about is that the N59 Interchange might be downgraded to a roundabout - let's hope that doesn't happen.

    Regards!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,283 ✭✭✭dubhthach


    I've updated the thread title to reflect the current Calendar year. Interesting about the redesignation of western section of the GCOB.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,686 ✭✭✭✭Zubeneschamali


    Meanwhile, in galway, roadworks signs are out at the Font and Morris roundabouts saying works start on the 20th. Some work has already started on trees and stuff nearby.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,783 ✭✭✭Chris_5339762


    Regardless of traffic, lights instead of roundabouts will make those junctions so much safer. They're scary at rush hour, you just have to force your way out dangerously.


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