The Dublin Port Tunnel is the first project of its kind in Ireland. While there is a tunnel in cork, The Jack Lynch Tunnel, the Dublin Port Tunnel is on an entirely different scale. There is a budget for the tunnel of 752 million euros, and it is estimated by the completion date, over 7million man hours will have been spent building the tunnel. The project is one of the biggest being currently worked on in Europe.
The tunnel is aimed to bring heavy good vehicles from the M50/M1 to the port, and remove them from the roads in and around the city. There are two tunnels being constructed, one will take traffic in to the port (south bound) while the other will take traffic out of the port (north bound). The total distance of the tunnel is 5.7 kilometres and it is estimated that the journey will only take 6 minuets.
Safety is always a major concern on projects like this, and the planners have been careful to include a number of safety features such as pedestrian paths between the tunnels and emergency phones every 250 meters. There are massive fans which will improve the air quality in the tunnel and remove smoke if a fire did erupt. There is also a gradual lighting effect at the exits so that drivers won't be blinded driving from dark to light.Among the criticisms for the tunnel is the fact that it are that it is not high enough to take super trucks, those which are higher than the normal container trucks. There is also criticism during the building of the tunnel because of rising costs and due to noise levels from the huge boring machines which were working under many residential areas. Other arguments against the tunnel include, more roads lead to more traffic and there were less expensive options available to the government to link the port with the M50.
The benefits that the tunnel will bring to Dublin according to Dublin City Council are the removal of HGV from the roads around Dublin, and the knock on effects of better environments and better traffic movement, the reduced travel time for HGV travelling to and from the port and safer roads. The tunnel is expected to open during the summer of 2006, and only then will the benefits be able to be truly measured..Ronan Menton is the webmaster for a number of travel related websites and has been for some time in Ireland, associated with search engine optimisation in the Irish travel industry. He spends two months a year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and now sees it as his second home. Among the many sites he is currently working on are the following: hotels in Galway and hotels in Cork.
By: Ronan Menton