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Old May 19th, 2010, 03:28 AM   #601
odlum833
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Times


Final part of Cork M8 to open in June

TIM O'BRIEN

The final section of the M8 motorway to Cork, and the M3 motorway past the Hill of Tara in Co Meath are to open in time for the June bank holiday weekend.

The two schemes will add to the Republic's fledgling motorway network make it possible to travel on motorways from the outskirts of Cork via Dublin's M50 and the M1, to the Border with Northern Ireland.

It will also be possible to travel on Motorways from Cork to the Meath / Cavan border north of Kells. Motorway is already open from east coast to the west coast via the M4/M6. Motorways from Dublin to Limerick and from Dublin to Waterford are set to be completed later this year.

The National Roads Authroity announced yesterday the final stretch of the M8, the wishbone shaped Portlaoise to Cullahill scheme, will open on May 28th. It will be followed by the controversial M3 motorway on June 4th.

There will be two tolls on each route and both will be open in time for the forthcoming June Bank Holiday.

The opening of the €405m Portlaoise to Cullahill scheme completes the State's investment of almost €2.6 billion on the entire 250km route from Dublin's M50 to Cork's Dunkettle interchange. The cost works out at about €10.4 million a kilometre

The 40km Y-shaped section will take Cork-bound traffic from the existing Portlaoise bypass to the existing M8 at Cullahill. It will also take Limerick-bound traffic from the Portlaoise bypass to Castletown, where remaining sections of the M7 Limerick motorway are under construction.

The route will bypass the towns of Abbeyleix, Durrow and Cullahill in Co Laois and is expected to cut the journey time from the M50 to Dunkettle by as much as 45 minutes.

At 250km, it should be possible to drive from the Red Cow and Dunkettle in about two hours and 30 minutes, allowing for lower speed limits along sections such as Newlands Cross in Dublin.

The 60km M3 motorway from Clonee on the Meath Dublin border to the Meath Cavan border provoked controversy, legal challenge and some direct action protests because of its route which passes through the Gabhra Valley between the hills of Tara and Skryne.

The route comes within one kilometre of the Hill at a point where a motorway interchange with the existing N3 occurs. Complaints about the process which permitted the destruction of a national monument were also made to the EU, some of which are on-going.

The route is expected to greatly ease peak time traffic between Kells and Dublin bypassing the towns of Dunboyne, Dunshaughlin, Navan and Kells.

The scheme includes a 4kilometre bypass of Kells on the N52 and 35 kilometres of Side roads. Also includes were two railway bridges, making provision for the reopening of the Dublin to Navan rail line.

The M3 was built as a single scheme, under a public private partnership and cost EUR1bn including land costs. It has taken some three years to construct. The contractor was M3 Motorway JV, a consortium involving Ferrovial, Siac and Budimex.

There will be two tolls on each route. The M8 will feature a new toll on the Portlaoise to Cullahill section, costing €1.80 for a passenger car. This is in addition to the existing toll of EUR1.90 on the route at Fermoy.

The M3 will feature two toll plazas, one at the Clonee end of the route, the other at Kells. The charge will be €1.30 for a passenger car at each toll.
...
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Old May 19th, 2010, 05:32 PM   #602
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I believe the Motor/Road Tax Irish drivers pay is deplorable, considering the road maintenance on rural/regional/secondary roads. New motorways are tolled on top of this, gasoline is also taxed. How do Irish drivers feel about the value they get for their money?
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Old May 19th, 2010, 10:02 PM   #603
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highwaycrazy View Post
How do Irish drivers feel about the value they get for their money?
Bad value for money really taking into account most regional, national secondary and local roads are covered in potholes. Realistically the car tax does not go directly towards road repair but to the regional councils to choose whatever they want to do with it. Allocation of funds towards road repairs this year is very low in comparison to the last few years. National primary roads have improved but there is still many poor ones remaining.

More photos now this time the N18 Limerick Tunnel bypass which is due to open in June, open day for the tunnel is june 19th.

Looking towards the offramp of junction 2


Zoomed in to get a view of the ADS. No enough entry to motorway signs ahead


Full view of the N18 heading eastbound from junction 2
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Old May 19th, 2010, 10:52 PM   #604
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The motorway construction scheme of, say, the last 10 - 12 years is impressive though. There was a lot of catching up to do, but for a country the size of Ireland, the current and near-future system of motorways is not bad at all.
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Old May 19th, 2010, 11:19 PM   #605
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
The motorway construction scheme of, say, the last 10 - 12 years is impressive though. There was a lot of catching up to do, but for a country the size of Ireland, the current and near-future system of motorways is not bad at all.
Yeah there has been a dramatic change in the amount of motorways now covering the country, per head of population Ireland will have the 6th densest motorway network in Europe by end 2010. See graph below. As you can see some change from 1996 to 2010!!


Km of motorway, per million inhabitants, 1996 and 2010


With the PPP's hopefully going ahead and all built before 2015 I doubt Ireland will ever require any more new motorways builds, only just widened schemes near Dublin like the M1 to 3 lanes.

Without the PPP's built we are still left with poor road on 30% of the Limerick-Galway N18 route and almost 90% of the Limerick-Cork route will be single carriageway.

I should also point out though the M17/M18 will likely get built as the EIB are backing the project and have loaned out E170 million. This project is due to start construction early next year and will probably be the only motorway under construction as the MUI's should all be completed by end of this year. So that would have Limerick-Galway-Tuam linked by motorway/dc standard road.

Quote:
N17-N18 Gort to Tuam PPP Motorway

Date of entry
23/02/2010

Proposed EIB finance
Up to EUR EUR 170 million.

Total cost
EUR 530 million

Status
Approved - 11/05/2010.
Other national routes will be built 2+2 or reduced dual carriageway (ie no hard shoulder and wire rope for the median). These are just as crucial as th motorway network, the likes of the N21, N17, N4, N5, N25, N22, N15, N16, N24 are in poor condition in most sections and need many bypasses. Many of these wont get built as there is no funds available even though there is a few in the CPO stage.
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Old May 21st, 2010, 04:03 AM   #606
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Jomcc posted up a few pictures of the M7/M8 scheme due to open on May 28th. It will complete the dual carriagrway/motorway standard link from Dublin-Cork. Part of the road is also the M7 to Limerick.







Bridge over Dublin-Cork railway in background.



Also an article on the motorway network. 8 million per km not bad by european standard on the cheaper side.



Quote:
THE CONSTRUCTION of motorways linking Dublin with other cities has cost €8 billion, with €5.3 billion coming from the exchequer, according to research by the National Roads Authority.

With routes linking the capital with Belfast, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford due for completion by the end of the year, NRA chief executive Fred Barry called for a multi-year plan to upgrade the remaining two-thirds of the national road network, mostly single carriageway routes.

“An awful lot of the remaining roads are in very poor shape” and local communities are calling for resolutions to local traffic and road safety problems.

“Without a plan we will have a continuing free-for-all where everyone insists their problem is the worst in the country and should have priority and a section here or there gets approval.”

With uncertainty over the level of State funding available in the short term, Mr Barry said adding tolls to existing roads to raise money for route upgrades was a possibility, but stressed this was a decision for government.

There are currently six tolls on the five interurban motorways.

“Whether the Government prefers to raise the money through tolls or taxes – even money from Europe started as taxes – is up to them. But ultimately the user ends up paying.”

With the motorways almost complete the NRA has details on the final cost of the projects and has produced estimates of expected benefits.

Of the €8 billion overall cost, €1.46 billion , or 18.5 per cent of the total, was spent acquiring more than 7,800 hectares required for the 1,000km of motorway.

EU structural and cohesion funding provided €800 million while private sector investment, through tolls or public private partnerships, contributed €1.3 billion.

A further €120 million was spent on archaeological work, accounting for 1.5 per cent of the total.

Construction costs totalled €5.4 billion, or 69 per cent. Planning and design fees came to €240 million while VAT payments accounted for €620 million.

Mr Barry said between 2005 and 2007 land prices “got completely out of kilter” but despite this the average cost per kilometre for the motorways was €8 million, which he said was “at the low end” of road-building costs in western Europe.

The NRA estimates the direct economic benefits of the motorway network at €24 billion, based on net present value, which is an estimate of all benefits now and into the future minus the cost.

In this calculation the biggest impact was in time savings coupled with fewer fatal and serious injury collisions.

This year the NRA was allocated €44 million to maintain national routes, a figure Mr Barry believes is less than half that required
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 01:20 AM   #607
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Furet took loads of pictures today of the new M7/8 motorway - the final stretch between Dublin and Cork/Dublin and Limerick. The M7 section is due to open on the 27th of May


Quote:
Originally Posted by Furet View Post
M/way ahead sign J3:


Planting at J3:


Very heavy planting at J3:


M8 concrete barrier reflector:


M8 mainline on J3:


View of J3 roundabout from the mainline:




J3 onslip (southbound):


Deep M8 attenuation pond (I think) west of Ballacolla:


M8 mainline west of Ballacolla:


As above:


More M8 mainline:


Last view of M8 before interchange west of Ballacolla:


More...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Furet View Post
M7 Route Confirmation Signage:


M7 looking east from overbridge on L1612:


As above, looking to Limerick:


Signage on R435:


Start of M7 at Borris0in-Ossory:


Same view, enlarged:


That's it!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Furet View Post
M7 westbound west of Ballacolla:


M7 towards the interchange west of Ballacolla:


Interchange looking to Dublin:


As above:






View across all lanes from overbridge:




Gantry:




Thanks Furet!
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 01:23 AM   #608
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Great pics thanks for posting them here aswell odlum833
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 03:19 AM   #609
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Here are the rest:

Topsoil for landscaping just off the N8 700m north of Cullahill roundabout:


Planting at side of first overbridge north of Cullahill roundabout. Mostly hawthorn and birch:


View of M8 northwards from that first overbridge:


View south to Cullahill roundabout from same bridge:


M8 looking south from second overbridge west of Cullahill:


View north from same position:


Third M8 overbridge, looking south:


And north...


Same picture zoomed:


M8 looking north from near Cannonswood Cross:
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 03:20 AM   #610
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View south from Cannonwood Cross:


M8 looking north 2km south of J3:


Same view:


Same view, but note very heavy planting:


ADS:






Junction 3 cantilever:


M8 route confirmation signage southbound, J3:


ADS approaching J3 from south:
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 12:38 PM   #611
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Great pictures Furet. Thanks for sharing them. I know coastal dwellers often give the midlands/interior of the country a hard time, but the undulating slopes of Laois and the south midlands are looking well in these pictures. (I don't think I could ever bring myself to say the same about the M4/6 to Galway; utterly depressing)
Good to see some landscaping as well. I wonder if any credit for this can be given to Laois County Council?? Along with Louth, they seem to be one of the few counties that places any significant emphasis on maintaining the roads adequately. (in the mid-east anyway)
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 02:15 PM   #612
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odlum833 View Post
Planting at side of first overbridge north of Cullahill roundabout.
Odlum, no such word exists in the English dictionary...

Good pictures.
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Old May 24th, 2010, 06:11 AM   #613
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highwaycrazy View Post
Odlum, no such word exists in the English dictionary...

Good pictures.
See Here
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Old May 27th, 2010, 07:11 PM   #614
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Quote:
New era as motorway opens

Published Date: 26 May 2010
By Staff Reporter

THE long era of traffic torment for a host of Laois towns and local people will come to an end this week when the M7/M8 motorways open for business.

An Taoiseach Brian Cowen will be on hand this Friday to cut the ribbon on the final section of the M8 motorway to Cork and the Laois section of the M7 Dublin to Limerick road. The new roads will connect to the existing Portlaoise by-pass and remove a number of notorious traffic bottlenecks in Laois.

While there have been worries over the business impact, the opening will have an immediate effect for many towns. Abbeyleix, Durrow and Cullahill will be bypassed on the Cork Road while there will also be relief for Mountrath and Borris-in-Ossory. Apart from Portlaoise, Rathdowney will now be the closest Laois town to a motorway exit.

The opening of the €405m Portlaoise to Cullahill scheme completes the State's investment of almost €2.6 billion on the entire 250km route from Dublin to Cork's. The cost works out at about €10.4 million a kilometre.

The M8 will feature a new toll on the Portlaoise to Cullahill section, costing €1.80 for a passenger car. This is in addition to the existing toll of €1.90 on the route at Fermoy.

According to Ian McCormack, SEO Economic Development & County Promotion with Laois County Council, "The opening of the motorway will improve the transport link between Dublin and Cork, reduce traffic intensity in our towns and villages and will improve safety, traffic organisation, and travelling conditions for all road users".

"It will also make Laois more accessible. It will be an element from an economic and tourism perspective in maximising the potential of the county in terms of its geographical location," he said.

"It will also help to create conditions to promote sustainable economic development in the county and broaden the county’s economic base and help to present the county as a place capable of attracting inward investment," he concluded.

The M7 all the way to Limerick is due to be finished later this year.
http://www.leinsterexpress.ie/news/N...ens.6319098.jp





From tomorrow Dublin - Cork will be full motorway.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 10:04 PM   #615
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Quote:
Odlum, no such word exists in the English dictionary...
Of course it exists, not only in Wikipedia but in the definitive English dictionary.

This is second time that this nonsense about overbridge has been posted.


Quote:
From tomorrow Dublin - Cork will be full motorway.
Not quite true, but the N7 section near Dublin is very close to motorway standard.
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Old May 29th, 2010, 01:15 AM   #616
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The M8 has a new Facebook Fanpage here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/M7-mot...6902670?ref=ts

"Like" it to keep updated and get lots of pictures.

Same for the M7 here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/M7-mot...3666961?ref=ts
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Old May 29th, 2010, 01:17 AM   #617
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Also some good footage of the new M7/M8 motorway here: http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0528/tra...62293,null,230
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Old May 30th, 2010, 04:41 AM   #618
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spacetweek View Post
Actually on Irish roads we usually use American terms -
"Median" instead of Central reserve
"On/offramps" instead of slip roads
"Interchange" or "Exit" instead of junction
Sorry to drag this up again but I don't really think we do in all cases.

You may be right about median but I'm not too sure.
Onramp and offramp, definitely not. I've never heard anyone refer to them as anything but slip roads.
And interchange, nope. Exit is common but the overall structure is generally referred to as a junction, particularly in conjunction with junction numbers.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 09:40 PM   #619
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Pics from the new M7/M8

Boys and girls,

Here are some photos of a trip southbound along the Cork leg, taken today.

Enjoy,

/csd

PS
"Overbridge" certainly is a word in the English language, and has been used in railway engineering circles in the UK and Ireland for decades.

1. Approaching the old N8 exit for Cork, they've updated the signage to reflect the opening of the new motorway.


2. Approaching the old end of the motorway, with Cork now signed straight ahead.


3. RCS after the Mountrath junction at the start of the new section.


4. Warning of the toll plaza.


5. Toll plaza. I'm in the express lane, which is compatible with all tags. €1.80 for cars.


6. Plenty of advance warning for the Cork exit; the signs start at 4km out.


7. Here's the gantry at 1km. The VMS in the background says "Welcome to Ireland's newest motorway/Drive carefully".


8. The slip for the M8 exit runs for about 500 metres. Should be long enough if you've been paying attention to any of the previous signs.


9. Diverge point.


10. We're now on the M8. Shortly after the M7 split, there is signage in English and Irish warning that there are no online services, but offline services are available in 20km, 60km, and 100km. A motorway service area for the M8 is part of Tranche 2 of the MSAs, so hopefully online services will be built next year when some money should become available as the major programme of building the inter-urban motorways will be finished.


11. Approaching junction 3, for Abbeyleix. Junction 2 was never built.


12. RCS after J3. The M8 is also designated the E201.


13. This layby is not designated for parking; the sign reads "Garda only" and there's a gate available to close off access.


14. Cutting section of the M8.


15. End of the new section. The tie-in with the Cullahill - Cashel section is just around this bend. The temporary access to the old N8 has been removed.
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Old May 31st, 2010, 02:38 AM   #620
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csd View Post

PS
"Overbridge" certainly is a word in the English language, and has been used in railway engineering circles in the UK and Ireland for decades.
No its not. I have yet to find it in an English paperback Dictionary. Wikipedia or the equivalent is not an English dictionary because anyone can edit or add words of their own.

Some people invent words of their own but that doesn't mean they form part of a language.
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