Written Answers. - Funding for Tunnels.

Jim Mitchell


149 Mr. J. Mitchell asked the Minister for the Environment the proposals, if any, he has received in the past five years to approve and provide funding for tunnels as part of any road construction programme; if so, the places where tunnels were considered; the approximate total cost per mile of such tunnelling including road construction cases. [1879/96]

In November, 1992, the Minister for the Environment made an Order under Part IV of the Local Government Act, 1946, approving an application from Cork Corporation for the construction of a tunnel under the River Lee in Cork. The Operational Programme for Transport 1994-99, published in November 1994, included an indicative cost of £86 million for the project.

The construction of a tunnel from the M1 Airport Motorway to Dublin Port was recommended in the final report of the Dublin Transportation Initiative; the estimated cost, excluding VAT, of a dual-carriageway tunnel was given as £104.2 million. The provision of the port tunnel was approved by the Government on 18 October 1994 and on 1 March 1995 an order was made under the Roads Act, 1993, declaring it to be a national primary road.

As the two tunnel projects will form part of the network of national roads, overall responsibility for their planning, design, construction and financing is now a matter for the National Roads Authority. Precise costings of the Dublin port tunnel must await the completion of planning and design work, now under way.

In the case of each tunnel project, the estimates given above take account of overall project costs, including associated road works, etc. Data in the form requested are not available in my Department.