Preparatory Work 0n M28 Project Moves to Next Phase
The new M28 motorway linking Rochestown with Ringaskiddy will move another step closer with the start of the second phase of preparatory works. As well as providing a strategically important road corridor to the Port of Cork, the project will involve extensive tree-planting and landscaping to ensure the physical and visual integration of the road and its associated features into the surrounding landscape.
Preparatory work on the M28 Project, part of the Core Trans‐European Transport Network, has been underway since last year with the route corridor cleared and fenced from Carrs Hill to the Port in Ringaskiddy at a cost of €1.2 million. Work is due to begin shortly on clearing trees and invasive gorse from Carrs Hill to the Rochestown Slip Road at the Bloomfield interchange. This clearance and fencing work is needed to finalise the detailed design of the motorway, its interchanges and associated works.
As part of the scheme over 20 hectares of new trees and shrubs will later be planted. All landscaping measures will be in keeping with the existing character of the landscape, with only native species of tree such as Hybrid Oak, Scots Pine, Hawthorn, Hazel, Holly, Blackthorn, Birch and Grey Willow being used.
Sean Callery, Senior Engineer with the Cork National Roads Office said,
“The M28 Cork Ringaskiddy motorway will bring strong economic benefits with access to the Port of Cork’s new container terminal, as well as the IDA lands in this area. But importantly, the route will be developed with its surrounding environment to the fore. What must be removed during the preparatory phase will be replaced and, more importantly, added to. It is our stated intention to increase and improve the quality of native trees and foliage along the entire route.”
When the motorway project is completed, in addition to the extra planting, all road verges and embankments not planted with trees will be seeded with wild grasses and wildflower mixes from Irish native sources to provide quality areas that will establish quickly and for visual appearance. All works are being carried out in accordance with the Scheme’s Environmental Impact Assessment and will be supervised by ecology experts.
Works have also been undertaken to address the direct and indirect impacts the project will have on nature habitats and other measures to support wildlife along the M28 corridor. These works have included:
- The construction of artificial badger setts to compensate for the direct loss and disturbance of existing (albeit dormant) setts near the works.
- The installation of bat boxes as part of the fencing and clearance project along the designated route, to compensate for trees with roost potential that had to be removed.
The initial work to fence off and enable the designated route for construction has involved diversions of major utilities, archaeology investigations and environmental mitigation works in line with commitments outlined in the Scheme’s Environmental Impact Statement.
The M28 motorway is scheduled to be completed by 2030. The motorway will be a key part of the road infrastructure in Cork, improving connectivity with key urban areas such as Carrigaline, while providing vital access to the Port of Cork facilities in Ringaskiddy.
Active Travel forms a strong feature of the new M28 scheme. Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey added,
Members of the public looking for the latest information on the project are invited to sign up to the M28 Newsletter by emailing M28@corkrdo.ie. A video animation showing the new route is available on the Council’s YouTube channel.