Clontarf to City Centre project won’t be finished by its original deadline, but, despite what some are strangely claiming, it is progressing

Comment & Analysis: “The C2CC Project costs €62m and is being largely funded by the National Transport Authority Active Travel Programme. The project is scheduled for completion in Q1 2024” — that’s a line in a Dublin City Council press release issued on March 28th 2022.

The press release was issued as sod was turned on the Clontarf to City Centre Cycle and Bus Priority Project (aka the C2CC Project). The €62m price tag has been known since 2022; it’s not something new for the project, which includes major water main upgrades, greenery, new crossings, upgraded bus shelters, more continuous bus lanes and renewed footpath and road surfaces throughout.

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Yes, the work started in 2022. For the people claiming the work has been ongoing for three years, that’s just not true. And it wasn’t supposed to be finished by December 2023, at least not according to the council when the project started.

The project, however, is highly unlikely to be finished by the end of the month. It won’t meet the original deadline. But that’s been known since late last year when the construction complete timeline was switched to “Q2 2024”.

The monthly management report in October 2023 said: “Construction commenced in Q1 2022 and will continue until Q1 2024.” In the same report in November 2022, this was updated to state: “Construction commenced in Q1 2022 and will continue until Q2 2024.”

Q2 2024 brings it up to the end of June, but it’s expected to be largely finished by the end of May.

It’s surprisingly common to hear complaints that projects are not progressing when they clearly are.

The photos below were taken on March 7th. Significant work was still left in some sections, mainly at junctions. But after hearing again that there was no progress, I was surprised at how much progress had been made since the start of the year.

My first thought was that the people complaining don’t see the progress because if you’re looking at the work every day, then progress may seem slower. But maybe it’s that most people complaining about the lack of progress are the ones who were complaining about the project from the start: People in their cars who cannot see the progress very well when driving by or who are a bit too influenced by pub talk or the lads on the local Facebook page.

And no, two years and a month or two is not a century; it’s not like the Taj Mahal, which took 17 years to build, or the Great Wall of China, which took over 2,000 years to construct. It seems to be mainly people aged 60+ making these types of comments.

I think it’s worth accepting (especially in the later years of life) that things do change, that this project was planned and debated for a decade, and finally agreed upon by a majority of councillors.

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