State agency pays €4.57m to operator of Limerick Tunnel

Money paid under Variable Operation Payment Mechanism

David Hurley


David Hurley


State agency pays €4.57m to operator of Limerick Tunnel

DirectRoute (Limerick) Limited received payments of €4,577,041 from TII during 2016

NEW figures show that more than €4.5m was paid to the operator of the Limerick Tunnel last year under the Variable Operation Payment Mechanism.

Figures obtained by this newspaper under the Freedom of Information Act show DirectRoute (Limerick) Ltd received €4,577,041 in payments under the scheme from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) during 2016.

The amount of money paid last year, which equates to around €12,500 per day, is more than €200,000 less than what was paid in 2015 – suggesting the number of vehicles using the Limerick Tunnel increased last year. 

The original PPP agreement dictates that payments should be  paid when daily traffic volumes using the Limerick Tunnel are below 23,000 vehicles.

The 675 metre long tunnel — which connects the N7 with the N18 - opened in July 2010 following four years of construction.

Currently, motorists pay €1.90 to use the tunnel, which cost more than €660m to construct.

The operator of the Limerick Tunnel is a consortium of companies which includes Lagan, Roadbridge, Sisk Contractors, Austrian-based Strabag, AIB and Meridiam Infrastructure.

Figures contained in accounts filed last year show the tunnel and associated road network had a book value of almost €350m at the end of 2015.

The Limerick Tunnel is due to revert to State ownership in 2041.