Residents and councillors in Dublin appear to be left in the dark as the proposed alignment for the €4 billion Eastern Bypass motorway was moved closer to homes and businesses.
The 2014 Eastern Bypass proposed protected alignment for “Sector A: Dublin [Port] Tunnel to Sandymount Strand” opens the possibility of running the motorway at-grade in the city area and shifts the route of the motorway so that it will run directly beside the Point Village as well as closer to residential areas in East Wall. The route will then cross over to the southside beside or as a replacement to the Eastlink Bridge, the proposed motorway alignment then runs between houses in Ringsend and the River Liffey.
The route then passes the Irish Glass Bottle site before reaching Sandymount Strand where there are two options to reach Booterstown — a tunnel or bridge across the sea and beach. From Booterstown, the route would go via the south grounds of UCD and on to Sandyford where it would join with the current M50, completing a motorway ring road around Dublin city.
Artist’s impression of the bridge option across the south Dublin Bay, the alturnative is tunneling:
Transport Infrastructure Ireland (formally National Roads Authority) finalised the new section of route for the Eastern Bypass in September 2014. The report on the bypass was uploaded to TII.ie in the last year but has yet to be reported on.
Consultants working for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) said the motorway would mean large volumes of extra traffic with added air pollution, noise and vibrations. They wrote that developers of new property should notify “all owners and occupants of the scheme will be advised of the possible noise, vibration and air impacts associated with the Dublin Eastern Bypass motorway and that any compensation arising as a result would be payable by the developer of the subject lands.”
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Asked about its support for the new section of route, a spokesman for Dublin City Council said: “In discussions with TII, Dublin City Council indicated that they were in broad agreement with the outline plans which TII had proposed.”
Separately, the council confirmed the status of the motorway in the current development plan process. A spokeswoman for the council confirmed that Dublin city councillors have excluded the bypass from the current draft plan but that it may yet make it into the final version.
She said: “The Eastern By-Pass is not included in the draft City Development Plan 2016 – 2022. A draft Plan has no status until it is adopted – in November 2016 in this case. All submissions on the draft plan are currently being analysed and Recommendations brought to the City Council in May. A decision will then be made on whether the Eastern Bypass objective will be included in the second round of consultation in the summer.”
Separately, councillors in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council area voted against a motion to exclude the motorway from their development plan by two votes.
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When we asked Dublin City Council if councillors or residents were consulted on the major change in its area, the council referred us to TII saying that the council is not aware of the extent of their engagement with other stakeholders during the preparation of the report. TII have yet to respond to this and other questions.
The report by the consultants shows that because of Dublin Port’s plans to bring in the largest cruise ships in close to the Point, the protected motorway alignment options will now not include a high bridge and will not cut across the port. It will retain the options of “Medium Level Opening Bridge across Dublin Port” and “A2: Cut & Cover Tunnel through Dublin Port”, while adding an option of an at grade motorway and move the alignment right up to the current residential areas.
The report states: “The 2013 – 2014 study reexamined Options A1 and A2 and introduced a new Option (A6) to route the motorway at grade. The study, which was examined both engineering and urban design considerations, did not identify a preferred scheme, but identified that each of three remaining options was technically feasible and should be brought forward for comparison as part of the formal Route Selection and Environmental Impact Assessment processes at a later date. A corridor has been identified that can accommodate any of the three retained options.”
The report states: “Owners and occupiers of new developments on lands along and adjacent to the proposed route corridors should be made aware of the possible future provision of the Eastern Bypass Motorway Scheme. An undertaking in writing should be sought from developers that all owners and occupants of the scheme will be advised of the possible noise, vibration and air impacts associated with the Dublin Eastern Bypass motorway and that any compensation arising as a result would be payable by the developer of the subject lands and not by the developer of the Eastern Bypass scheme.”
Seven days ago TII confirmed acknowledgment of receiving questions sent to them by IrishCycle.com, but they have yet to respond further.