Tuesday, 10 February 2004

Ceisteanna (302)

Barry Andrews

Ceist:

378 Mr. Andrews asked the Minister for Transport the projected cost of delays arising from the High Court decision in the Carrickmines Castle case on 29 January 2004 and the cost of re-aligning the motorway in a manner that will not interfere with the site of the castle. [3646/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Transport)

The management of the construction of the south-eastern motorway, including issues related to additional costs attributable to delays, is a matter for the National Roads Authority or NRA and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

I am informed by the NRA that, as a target lump sum price was agreed in May 2003 with the contractor for the completion in full of the south-eastern motorway by September 2005, it is not possible to identify the additional costs attributable to the delays arising from the legal proceedings relating to the Carrickmines section of the project. The lump sum contract negotiated in May 2003 took these delays and others into account and was predicated on early resolution of issues concerning the Carrickmines site. Any delay to, or disruption of, the project attributable to the Carrickmines situation beyond that anticipated in May 2003 will, I am advised by the NRA, increase costs on the scheme and therefore the target lump sum already mentioned. The NRA has advised that such costs could exceed €1 million per month given the level of labour and plant resources involved.

Any significant change to the route of the motorway such as could arise from an effort to realign the scheme at this stage could necessitate the preparation of a new environmental impact statement and the initiation of procedures to obtain a new statutory consent. The outcome of this process and the decision to be reached by An Bord Pleanála taking account of submissions and objections received cannot be predicted. In the event that a feasible realignment of the motorway could be identified and the necessary approval obtained from the board, it is possible that completion of the south-eastern motorway could be delayed by up to five years. The costs associated with such delay, including continued serious traffic congestion problems in south County Dublin, have not been quantified but would be substantial.