Start date on New Ross and Enniscorthy bypasses delayed
WORK on the Enniscorthy and New Ross bypasses will not now commence until next year.
Government ministers Brendan Howlin and Paul Kehoe were quick to announce in December 2014 that works would begin this year on the projects, after BAM PPP PGGM and Iridium consortium were announced as the preferred tenderers for the new bypasses which are expected to cost in excess of €600m. As well as being responsible for constructing the schemes the Consortium will be responsible for their operation and maintenance over a 25 year period.
Work on the New Ross bypass was due to begin first, with Minister Howlin declaring that the works would commence in mid-2015 and conclude by 2017, but Project Liaison Officer on the New Ross bypass Sean Dobbs said the contracts have yet to be signed on the project and may not be signed for a number of weeks, before adding that works would conclude in 2018.
Mr Dobbs said work is not likely to begin on the route until early next year or the very end of 2015, while his colleague Oliver Tierney said work will not begin on the Enniscorthy bypass motorway until 2016 also.
300 jobs are expected to be created on the New Ross project, with over 400 jobs being created on the Gorey to Enniscorthy bypass.
Mr Dobbs said: 'The contracts for the awarding of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) for the New Ross bypass hasn't been closed yet. The procurement process is still ongoing but the contract has not been awarded.'
Mr Dobbs said following the awarding of the contract a number of procedures will have to be finalised and only when these are completed will site works commence.
'The procurement process takes time. We are still saying works will be concluded in 2018. It's on schedule. The PPP contracts will be awarded this summer and there is the usual lead in period where the contractor has to do an element of design and preparatory works. The works will follow on from that. We are endeavouring to inform the landowners of when they will start.'
He said the new 900 metre bridge - which will be Ireland's longest - will carry on in tandem with the road's construction, adding that the starting point for the works has yet to be decided.
Mr Tierney said the contract for the Enniscorthy project is less complicated than the New Ross bypass contract so it may will be signed first in all probability, but more preparatory works will be required for it.
'We are hopeful that it will be signed possibly in July. At the moment the contractors are sorting out their funding on the private side. There are slight differences in how they are done. The Enniscorthy one is more straightforward. It may be resolved first. Once the contractor is appointed he will have a lead in period to carry out design works and get in sub contractors. It's too close to call as to which will begin first.'
He said the initial works will involve erecting fencing and carrying out drainage works.
'The bulk of the works won't probably start until early next year with construction due to begin in Spring.'
He said the projects will be paid for by 'shadow tolls' (i.e. taxpayer's money) so no tolls will be applied on either roads.
The M11 Gorey to Enniscorthy PPP Scheme is approximately 41 km in length incorporating a new 27 km motorway and tie-in to the east of Enniscorthy, an 8 km single carriageway bypass to the west of Enniscorthy, a 4 km dual carriageway section linking the N30 and N80 that crosses the River Slaney, and associated side road improvements. It is expected to take three years to complete.
The N25 New Ross Bypass is approximately 14 km in length and includes what will be the longest bridge in Ireland, extending 900m over the River Barrow to the south of New Ross. It is expected to have a new roundabout at the Campile road junction and to take 30 months to complete.
The construction of the two schemes will result in the alleviation of severe traffic bottlenecks in Enniscorthy and New Ross.