I propose to take Questions Nos. 70 and 86 together.
Transport Infrastructure Ireland, TII, tells me it has recently approved funding to Cork County Council for a surfacing contract at Coolcower on the N22. TII understands a contractor has been appointed by the local authority and that the works will be completed this year. A previously proposed N22 Macroom to Ballincollig-Ovens major improvement scheme remains suspended due to funding constraints within the current national development plan, NDP, and no further work has been carried out by Cork County Council on planning and design. TII has informed me there are no plans to do any pavement or safety works on this stretch of road at present.
The N22 Ballyvourney to Macroom route, the N22 runs from Cork city to Tralee, passing through several towns and villages including Macroom, Ballyvourney and Ballymakeery. The bypass project includes the construction of a dual carriageway and consists of a 22 km dual carriageway with four junctions beginning west of Ballyvourney, passing north of Macroom and rejoining the existing N22 south of Macroom. The estimated cost of the project is €280 million.
Following approval by Government in October 2019, construction commenced on 6 December 2019, with very good progress being made on site. The construction of the many structures required for the project is almost complete. The longest precast concrete beams in Ireland, 49 metres, were manufactured for a bridge on this scheme and were successfully lifted into place last December. In addition, a large steel deck was successfully launched across a river and valley in March.
Overall, works are approximately midway through construction, with completion expected by early 2024. The N22 project strengthens the links between Cork and Kerry. By reducing traffic volumes on the existing N22 by approximately 12,000 vehicles per day, the project will improve journey times and allow for safer and more reliable journeys for road users.