MOST of the â‚¬4 million allocated by the Department of Transport this year for the first phase on the northern distributor road will be spent on land acquisition.
The road project - 3km of dual carriageway linking Coonagh and Knockalisheen - is being delivered by Limerick City Council and is a key project of Limerick Regeneration in opening up access to Moyross. Including design and land purchase, the overall scheme could cost in excess of â‚¬40 million, with the construction costs expected to be in the region of â‚¬25 to â‚¬30 million.
The first phase of the project is less controversial than the second from Knockalisheen to Annacotty, which has attracted significant local opposition in Parteen and Lisnagry. And Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar last year pledged the first phase should be completed within the lifetime of the government.
Senior engineer with Limerick City Council, Vincent Murray, said a two-stage tendering process is underway for phase one and a contractor could be appointed later this year. The road could take up to two years to complete.
The â‚¬4 million allocation is part of a â‚¬17 million package announced for Limerick roads.
â€œThese grants will enable specific road projects to be completed both in the city and county. I am particularly pleased that funding has been approved for the Coonagh to Knockalisheen distributor road. This road project is a vital piece of infrastructure that will open up lands to the north of Moyross while also providing better access for motorists travelling through the city,â€ commented Minister of State Jan Oâ€™Sullivan.
Improvement works for roads and pavements on Lower Cecil Street, Lower Mallow Street, Rhebogue Road, Union Cross and Inagh Drive, Ennis Road, are also planned.