'No more time lost': Senator Kieran O'Donnell
ANOTHER step has been taken on the road towards the Limerick to Cork motorway this week after design and planning consultants were appointed.
Barry Transportation, which has offices in Cork, Castlebar and Dublin, were appointed to the €8m contract by Limerick City and County Council, which is leading the delivery of the massive €1bn project.
The scheme, which could see Ireland’s second and third cities linked in a little over an hour, is being managed in Limerick.
It’s been welcomed by Senator Kieran O’Donnell who said the motorway will provide an important “counter-balance” to Dublin.
“This ensures that no further time is lost in progressing this vital missing piece of Motorway network, linking the two major cities outside of Dublin, namely Limerick and Cork,” he said, “This design and planning phase will bring it as far as an Bord Pleanala approval. Thereafter, the appointment of contractors to construct the M20 can proceed.”
“Together with the recent motorway completion linking Limerick to Galway, a commuter time of under one hour from Limerick to Cork is a vital ingredient in creating this dynamic of an Atlantic economic corridor,” he added “As the biggest single Motorway road infrastructure project in Ireland at an total estimated cost of €900m, this M20 Gateway project will contribute to the competitive edge necessary to deliver on the Project 2040 objective of 75% population growth outside of Dublin over the next two decades.”
Mr O’Donnell said the focus should now shift to ensuring the motorway is built as quickly as possible – and suggested a potential Ryder Cup in Adare Manor in 2026 should be a target date
“Whilst this is an ambitious deadline date, it is nevertheless achievable,” the Fine Gael senator added.
The Limerick to Cork motorway, which has been in the pipeline for well over a decade, has been acknowledged as a vital missing link in Ireland’s road infrastructure.
It was shelved in the midst of the recession by then Transport Minister Leo Varadkar.
But the proposal was reactivated as the economy began to recover in 2016.
A previous study from the Limerick Chamber indicated the road could support 5,000 positions.