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Old April 27th, 2011, 08:14 PM   #901
spacetweek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_533976 View Post
The Athlone bypass wont be a motorway anytime soon as the curvature isnt up to it and there isnt a sensible alternate route for local traffic. The only other bridge in Athlone just isnt up to the extra local traffic and is the only bridge north-south for 20 km.

Also the PPPs (M17/18 and N7/11) are effectively dead due to the bank and the soverign debt situation.
The Strategic Investment Bank is the only hope for further motorway building, but the N7 Newlands Cross and M11 Wicklow-Arklow schemes will go ahead as standalones. They're cheap enough to be directly funded (M11 already has the land purchased, N7 is small). I reckon they'll split them up and get them done over the next few years. The M17/18/20, though, are a different story.
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Old April 27th, 2011, 08:21 PM   #902
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
Motorway designation is the most obvious one...
...
So in addition to not having all recent HQDC schemes becoming motorway, you also have the anomaly of the M20 getting re-designated, when all the similar roads (Naas Road, N3 and N4 near Dublin, Athlone bypass, Limerick-Shannon Road) weren't.
N6 Athlone was entirely due to curves, close junction spacing, and poor forward visibility. The speed limit is 100 km/h and would have to stay at this level even with redesignation - a main argument against redesignation. N25 Waterford and N18 Shannon Tunnel were because of the lack of a viable non-tolled route, but I don't find this very convincing personally. I think these will eventually be changed.

Why do you think the M20 is weird? It was always a motorway standard road and the only weird thing is how it ever existed as a dual carriageway. It is not at all similar to the Naas Road/N3/N4 which are lower spec.
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Originally Posted by Highwaycrazy View Post
It's called bad planning and poor decision making - People that made similar decisions in the States were normally first in line of dismissal. I thought the same when I looked into the plans to construct a new Galway beltway given that the existing one (wide median and easily retrofitable) could be upgraded instead of wasting several million EUR building another one from scratch.
Dismissal would be pretty rough since those roads were all built long before it was decided to convert their routes to motorway. No one could have known. And no, you definitely could not retrofit the existing Galway Bypass. The turns are far too tight.
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Old May 8th, 2011, 01:42 PM   #903
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This website might interest some members here: http://www.nratraffic.ie/

It's a real-time information site from the National Roads Authority showing camera images, VMS displays and weather conditions on the main roads around the country. It also has current travel times on roads around the Greater Dublin area.
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Old May 12th, 2011, 12:23 PM   #904
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Some news on the M17/M18 Tuam to Gort motorway:

Quote:
Spanish firm offers to build motorway from Gort to Tuam

May 12, 2011 - 7:30am

Company that completed Galway-Ballinasloe M6 makes approach on 'doomed' project

By Declan Tierney



The much delayed Gort to Tuam motorway has been thrown a lifeline – a Spanish based consortium has approached the National Roads Authority expressing an interest in constructing the 57 kilometre stretch and work could commence by the end of the year.

It has been learned by The Connacht Tribune that it is the same building company that built the M6 motorway from Galway to Ballinasloe which was opened in early 2010.

FCC Construction, which has its base in Madrid, have written to the National Roads Authority expressing an interest in constructing the M17/M18 motorway along with the Tuam bypass.

Last autumn the NRA announced that the consortium of BAM Beatty Balfour were the preferred consortium to construct the motorway from Gort to Tuam but it emerged that finance became a major issue and the signing of contracts was delayed on no fewer than six occasions.

It is understood that the financial backers were ‘jittery’ about investing in a country with a sovereign debt problem and were worried about being paid back for the project over a 20 year period.

The National Roads Authority then spoke to two other consortia who had tendered for the project, which will cost in the region of €500 million. But both of these are understood to have difficulty raising the finance for the project.

Much to the relief of the NRA, they received correspondence from FCC Construction offering to build the motorway – this company has made €1 billion in profits over the past year from lucrative capital projects across Europe.

But before any contracts can be signed with FCC, the NRA must put the M17/M18 motorway project out to tender again and seek expressions of interest from construction companies. In the current economic climate, the Spanish company are likely to be the only respondents.

Already, the Government has spent in the region of €120 million on the motorway project, with the vast majority of this going on the compulsory acquisition of lands along the route.

The Connacht Tribune
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Old May 14th, 2011, 09:39 AM   #905
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Not a motorway, but work has commenced on the N5 Longford bypass.

Government press release
Longford County Council press release (with a map of the route)
National Roads Authority press release

The project is 2.6km long and will cost €26 million; it should be completed in around 18 months.
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Old May 25th, 2011, 12:07 PM   #906
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The NRA has completed their study on the National Secondary Roads:

Quote:
National Secondary Roads Needs Study

The NRA is now proposing to focus its attention on addressing deficiencies in the NSR network. To that end, it commissioned the National Secondary Road Needs Study (NSRNS) to identify an optimal future NSR network, which offers value for money.

The reporting of the network options for the National Secondary Roads Needs Study is divided into five regions namely North, East, South East, South West and West as follows:

North:
Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Longford, Monaghan, Sligo and Westmeath

East:
Kildare, Laois, Louth, Meath, Offaly, South Dublin and Wicklow

South East:
Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary North, Tipperary South, Waterford and Wexford

South West:
Cork, Kerry and Limerick

West:
Clare, Galway, Mayo and Roscommon

A separate report has been provided for each region, with Chapters 1, 3, 4 and 6 being common in all reports. In addition Sections 2.1 to 2.4, Sections 5.1 to 5.3, Sections 7.1 to 7.2, Sections 8.1 to 8.3 and Sections 9.1 to 9.5 inclusive are common in all reports. Appendix B is also common in all reports and is provided separately.

The reports are available for download below:

National Secondary Roads - Network Options Report North Region (35Mb)

National Secondary Roads - Network Options Report East Region (35Mb)

National Secondary Roads - Network Options Report South East Region (36Mb)

National Secondary Roads - Network Options Report South West Region (37mb)

National Secondary Roads - Network Options Report West Region (41Mb)

National Secondary Roads - Network Options Report All Regions Appendix B (15Mb)
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Old June 21st, 2011, 09:03 PM   #907
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Quote:
Irish roads sixth safest in the EU
Updated: 15:00, Tuesday, 21 June 2011



Irish roads have been named the sixth safest in the European Union, according to a new report.

Between 2001 and 2010 the number of people killed on the roads here fell by 48%.

This was just short of the EU target of 50%, which only eight member states achieved, according to the report by the European Transport Council.

Ireland's reduction was above the EU average.

Ireland is now sixth behind Sweden, the UK, Malta, The Netherlands and Germany in terms of road safety.

Ireland was among the best performers when it came to saving lives on rural roads and of pedestrians and motorbike users.

However, it was below average when it came to reducing deaths of cyclists.

The report estimated that there has been more than 100,000 fewer deaths on EU roads since 2001 and that the savings to society are worth around €176 billion.

The Road Safety Authority has described the reduction as remarkable.
RSA Chief Executive Noel Brett says that Irish road users have become an example to the rest of Europe but he warned against complacency.

He says there is still a big gap between Ireland and the safest countries in Europe and that efforts to make the roads safer need to continue.

The European Transport Council has set a new target of a further 50% reduction in road deaths by 2020.

Story from RTÉ News:
http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/0621/roads.html
Brilliant news, but still a lot more to be done.
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 04:46 PM   #908
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That does surprise me considering the state of some of the secondary roads. Great news though.
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 05:51 PM   #909
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catmalojin View Post
Brilliant news, but still a lot more to be done.
Fantastic news for Ireland indeed. I also wonder how much of that could be attributed to the new motorway network, taking longer distance traffic off smaller, inadequate roads, where accidents are far more likely to occur than on a motorway?
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 06:05 PM   #910
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Any new motorway openings (or new projects starting) anytime soon?
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 12:26 AM   #911
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Might be two this year (M17 and M11) but negotiations are ongoing and not helped by the economic situation. Some widening schemes should go ahead this year though (M1 for example).
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Old June 24th, 2011, 09:43 PM   #912
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North Dublin to the Port via M1/M50

North Dublin to the Port via M1/M50

Folks,

Here's a series of photos of a 10.5 km stretch of the route into Dublin Port from the north. It includes the recently-widened section of the M1 and the Dublin Port Tunnel. Enjoy!

/csd

1. First, the route map.
image hosted on flickr

Screen shot 2011-06-24 at 19.10.36 by csd75, on Flickr

2. Approaching the ramps of junction 3, where the 2x3 section begins. J3 has only south-facing ramps.
image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

3. Closer view of the sign gantry visible in the previous shot.
image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

4. On the recently-widened D3M section of the M1, north of Dublin Airport
image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

5. Approaching the airport interchange from the north.
image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

6. Under the interchange, start of 80 km/h speed limit.
image hosted on flickr

IMG_6719 by csd75, on Flickr

7. Immediately south of the airport interchange. 80 km/h here due to weaving by traffic merging from the airport and diverging to join the M50 southbound.
image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

8. M1 south approaching the M50. Left for the M50 southbound (towards the M11), keep right for the M50 into Dublin Port Tunnel.
image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

9. Dublin Port Tunnel is €3 all weekend!
image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

10. Approaching the M50, almost at the end of the M1.
image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

11. End of the M1. Straight-ahead is also the M50, but isn't signed as such southbound. This is probably to avoid confusion, as the M1 designation used to continue from here to the old terminus of the motorway a few km further south. When the Dublin Port Tunnel was opened, this section of the M1 south of the M50 was renumbered M50 as well. This junction was upgraded last year to allow free-flowing movements between the M1 and M50.
image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

12. Immediately south of the M1/M50 junction. We're approaching the merge with the M50 northbound carriageway, but we're heading directly due south! Another reason the normal M50 northbound/southbound signage isn't used on this section.
image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

13. Approaching the Coolock/Santry interchange. This used to be on the M1, but is now an un-numbered junction on the M50.
image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

14. The Dublin Port Tunnel was built to take trucks off the streets of Dublin, so is toll free for heavy goods vehicles and coaches. Cars and other users pay a toll, which is €3 off-peak and €10 at peak times to discourage commuting through the tunnel.
image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

14. The supposed reason for the high toll at peak times is to avoid congestion in the tunnel, where the ventalation systems would be overloaded.
image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

15. The N1 re-appears here, at another un-numbered junction on the M50. The old M1 continued straight on here, ending approximately 1.5 km further south. When the Dublin Port Tunnel opened, this section was converted back to a 2+1 single carriageway road.
image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

16. Last chance to escape the tolled tunnel!
image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

17. At 4.5 km, the tunnel is Ireland's (and the island's) longest tunnel. There are repeaters for FM radio stations in the tunnel.
image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

18. Inside the tunnel.
image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

19. There's an 80 km/h limit in the tunnel, and no overtaking for vehicles with > 3 axles.
image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

20. The VMSs say "Cars keep 2 chevrons apart" and "HGVs keep 3 chevrons apart"
image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

21. Access to the northbound bore is possible at a number of crossovers like this, normally closed of course.
image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

22. We could almost be in the Alps here
image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

23. After 4.5 km and 3.5 minutes underground, we're back in the sunshine at the toll station. No express lane for tag users here, but tags are accepted in the centre lanes.
image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

24. Immediately after the toll station is the exit for the port.
image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

25. The iconic red-and-white striped chimneys of Poolbeg power station are visible in the background of this shot. The power station closed in 2010, but there is a campaign to save the 207 metre tall chimneys, which have dominated the skyline of the eastern approaches to Dublin since the early 1970s.
image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

26. End of the M50 motorway.
image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Untitled by csd75, on Flickr

That's it, hope you enjoyed the trip!
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Old June 24th, 2011, 09:45 PM   #913
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Brilliant pics as always, csd.

Some road construction news from today:

Quote:
Contracts for €60m Tralee bypass to be signed today

ANNE LUCEY

Fri, Jun 24, 2011

CONTRACTS ARE being signed today in Co Kerry for the finalisation of the Tralee bypass, a €60 million project connecting the N21, N22, N69 and N70 in Tralee.

The 13.5km construction work will see about 200 people employed over the next 20 months in the town.

The completion of the Tralee bypass was one of two demands of the former TD Jackie Healy-Rae – along with the completion of the Kenmare community hospital in his own constituency of Kerry South – in return for his support for the the beleaguered Fianna Fáil and Green government in November 2010.

The former TD’s son, councillor Danny Healy-Rae, yesterday paid tribute to the work of the county manager Tom Curran over the past 12 months for sticking with the project and said the Fine Gael Ministers could only be thanked “for not stopping” it.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan said he was delighted his Government colleague Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar had sanctioned the signing of the contract for the bypass.

Kerry Mayor Pat Leahy will sign the contract with Bam Civil Engineering an Irish company which recently completed the Castleisland bypass.

The new road comprises an 8.0km dual carriageway eastern bypass of Tralee town and a 5.5km single carriageway link road from the proposed bypass to the N22 Killarney Road at Bealagrellagh.

It is estimated the bypass will reduce traffic in Tralee town centre by 25 per cent.

© 2011 The Irish Times
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Old June 24th, 2011, 10:18 PM   #914
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Beautiful photos.

I still think the tunnel tolls are outright bizarre. It's not okay for trucks to clog the city center, but cars idling there is no problem?
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Old June 24th, 2011, 10:20 PM   #915
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Beautiful photos.

I still think the tunnel tolls are outright bizarre. It's not okay for trucks to clog the city center, but cars idling there is no problem?
No, cars aren't really welcome in the city centre either! However the trucks were using the quays along the river Liffey to get to the port, clogging up the roads and killing cyclists. It's much better now that there's a 5-axle ban from 07.00 to 19.00 and the trucks are using the tunnel.

/csd
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Old June 25th, 2011, 10:11 PM   #916
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I like how Ireland uses the same road signs as the US (yellow diamond shaped signs).
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Old June 25th, 2011, 11:52 PM   #917
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I remember when they first opened the M1 the tunnel was free. I haven't been there for a while now, do they accept cards?

They want to keep traffic out of the city centre, but the only plausible route going westbound when you get off the ferry in the mornings is THROUGH the centre. The M50 is always clogged.....
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Old June 26th, 2011, 12:31 AM   #918
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I like how Ireland uses the same road signs as the US (yellow diamond shaped signs).
We talked about it before here. And I still think thats very strange. They have warning signs in American style, but with European symbols. And the other road signs are European. They are the only country in Europe with diamond shaped warning signs in American style.

Ireland is a member of the EU so I think they should change the warning signs to European triangles.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 12:41 AM   #919
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Originally Posted by Uppsala View Post
We talked about it before here. And I still think thats very strange. They have warning signs in American style, but with European symbols. And the other road signs are European. They are the only country in Europe with diamond shaped warning signs in American style.

Ireland is a member of the EU so I think they should change the warning signs to European triangles.
I fully agree. They copied most of their signs from Britain, which are European so why not go that extra mile...

(although they did change in to km not long ago, so why not go that extra 1.6 km )
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Old June 26th, 2011, 12:58 AM   #920
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uppsala View Post
We talked about it before here. And I still think thats very strange. They have warning signs in American style, but with European symbols. And the other road signs are European. They are the only country in Europe with diamond shaped warning signs in American style.

Ireland is a member of the EU so I think they should change the warning signs to European triangles.
I'm guessing then they would have to change the yellow shoulder lane markings to white? I don't think that will happen anytime soon. For the most part U.S signs are broadly similar except for several deviations made to accommodate the european symbols you mention. But those could easily be amended anytime.
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