â‚¬2m orbital route 'to cut traffic and unlock the city's potential'
By David Hurley
MAYOR Kevin Kiely has welcomed the formal signing
of multi-million euro contracts that will see the completion of two key infrastructure projects that it is hoped will help unlock the potential of the city centre.
The contracts for phase one of the city's orbital route and for the construction of a bus lane on Mulgrave Street were signed after construction company Murphy International successfully won separate tenders from the local authority.
The combine value of the contracts is just over â‚¬2m.Phase one
of the orbital route will see the construction of a new link road between the Cathedral Place junction on Mulgrave Street
and the front of CBS, Sexton Street
. The works will also include the rebuilding of Sexton Street and the provision of enhanced footpaths and improved pedestrian crossings.
The orbital route around the city centre will create a mainly one-way clockwise traffic system that will be divided into three sections: Northern, Central and Southern.
The project aims to provide a high capacity street network allowing for the safe and efficient movement of traffic, creating high priority areas for pedestrians within the core city centre.
"It is significant for the future development and pedestrianisation of the city centre. The completion of this orbital route will enable us to reduce traffic volumes on O'Connell Street and will allow us to link that in with other streets which have been pedestrianised well such as Bedford Row and Thomas Street," said Vincent Murray of Limerick City Council
The orbital route, part of a plan that includes the remodelling and pedestrianisation of Limerick's centre, was launched to much fanfare in 2007.
The other key project, which will get underway shortly, is the construction of a new inbound bus lane from the O'Grady Monument on Mulgrave Street to the Cathedral Place junction.
Limerick City Council is hoping that this will facilitate improved and higher frequency bus services between the city centre and the suburbs, allowing for larger volumes of people to be moved more efficiently.
Mayor Kiely, who attended the formal signing of the contracts, has welcomed confirmation that the long awaited projects are set to proceed.
"I am delighted that the contracts have been signed, especially as it is one of the few areas where we are actually spending money this year. I am glad to see the orbital route progressing, and, hopefully, funding will be made available for the rest of the orbital route in the near future," he said.