Limerick Transport

Re: Limerick Transport

Postby PVC King » Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:42 pm

london (sharecast) - Irish Budget Airline Aer Lingus Is Suspending Flights From Shannon To New York And Boston For 11 Weeks At The Start Of 2011 As Both Routes Tend To Make Big Losses During The Winter.

Planes, Which Fly To Each Of The Us Cities Four Times A Week, Will Be Grounded Between 5 January And 27 March Next Year.

The Carrier Says Both Routes Have Incurred Significant Losses During The Winter Months In 14 Of The Past 15 Years, Costing The Company A Total Of €163m Since 1995, An Average €11m A Year.

“in Order To Maintain The Viability Of Our Shannon Transatlantic Operations Throughout The Remainder The Year, The 3 Month Suspension Of These Routes When Seasonal Demand Is At Its Lowest Is Crucial,” Said Ceo Christoph Mueller.


Fyi
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Re: Limerick Transport

Postby cgcsb » Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:34 am

It'd be nice for a change to see bus lanes in the centre of the road a so that private traffic, attempting left turning movements need not cross it. Dublin's QBC network would be far better off with this approach, other cities should do the same, make the bus more competitive in journey times.
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Re: Limerick Transport

Postby foinse » Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:59 am

cgcsb wrote:It'd be nice for a change to see bus lanes in the centre of the road a so that private traffic, attempting left turning movements need not cross it. Dublin's QBC network would be far better off with this approach, other cities should do the same, make the bus more competitive in journey times.


Busses get the inside line, because they have to stop at bus stops. Having something that big crossing over a lane of traffic every few blocks would cause major problems. Busses stop at almost every stop, whereas not every car on the road will stop every few blocks.
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Re: Limerick Transport

Postby cgcsb » Thu Jun 17, 2010 4:39 pm

foinse wrote:Busses get the inside line, because they have to stop at bus stops. Having something that big crossing over a lane of traffic every few blocks would cause major problems. Busses stop at almost every stop, whereas not every car on the road will stop every few blocks.


That's why countries where they take public transport seriously, have bus stops also located at the centre of the road, and usually have real time displays at major stops.

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Re: Limerick Transport

Postby CologneMike » Sat Jun 19, 2010 11:28 am

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Walkers invited to take a trip under the river Shannon via €810m tunnel (Irish Times)

TIM O'BRIEN

A CHANCE to be one of the first people to walk under the river Shannon is being offered to people in Limerick and Clare today.

The 900m twin-tube tunnel and associated 9km dual carriageway is, at €810 million, the State’s most expensive motorway tunnel, outstripping the cost of the Dublin Port Tunnel by some €60 million.

From 10am to 7pm, visitors are being invited to walk through the tunnel in advance of its official opening date later this summer. The precast tunnel was previously on display before it was lowered into position in July 2008.

Officially known as the Limerick Southern Ring Road Phase 2, the new road traverses the longest river in these islands and links the N7 Dublin Road, the N20 Cork Road and the N18 Ennis Road.

The public open day is the last chance for visitors to walk the tunnel, according to the National Roads Authority, which said pedestrians will not be accommodated when the tunnel opens.

Visitors to the tunnel will be invited to walk across the scenic Bunlicky Lake causeway before entering the northbound tunnel bore.

The outward walk is about 1.5km, and when walkers emerge from the northbound tunnel, tea will be available in the site canteen. The return trip is also about 1.5km, so visitors are advised to bring walking shoes.

A commemorative book will be on sale, and proceeds will be donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland (Limerick branch), Milford Care Centre and Thomond House Hostels for the Homeless.

When the tunnel opens officially later this summer, a toll of about €1.80 is to be charged for private cars.

The tunnel operator is Direct Route Limerick Ltd, which holds the concession for 35 years.

A spokesman for the roads authority said comparing the costs of the Limerick and Dublin tunnels was like comparing “chalk and cheese”.

He said the principal reason for the Limerick tunnel being more expensive was that the price included annual maintenance and operation over the 35-year life of the contract, as well as refurbishment to a very high condition before the tunnel is handed over to the State at the end of the contract.

The cost of operating, maintaining and refurbishing the Dublin tunnel was not included in the €775 million cost, which figure also did not include land costs.

The cost of land for the Limerick tunnel was very high, the spokesman added.


According to Direct Route Ltd. they put the building costs at over €500m. Calculating the operating and maintenance costs for the next 35 years into the total price and then comparing it with the Dublin Tunnel project does not make sense?

A comparison of costs for the crossing selections would have been more appropriate but at this stage now it is “water under the bridge” or “water over the tunnel” .
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Re: Limerick Transport

Postby PVC King » Sat Jun 19, 2010 11:43 am

I could be wrong but it seems like the tunnel cost €500m and that once tolls are subtracted from operational and planned maintenance costs that it will lose €310m operationally over a 35 year life cycle. I'd shorten the life cycle to 20 years as you can never predict where things will be on a longer timeframe but you must question the merit in building a project that loses so much money for such a long period of time. No point in crying over spilled milk but it should be a lesson at National level about the burden unviable projects place on the public purse. Particular reference to the Tuam Motorway.....
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Re: Limerick Transport

Postby CologneMike » Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:22 pm

PVC King wrote: Irish Budget Airline Aer Lingus Is Suspending Flights From Shannon To New York And Boston For 11 Weeks At The Start Of 2011 As Both Routes Tend To Make Big Losses During The Winter.


Though Continental Airlines and Delta Airlines continue to have year-round transatlantic services from Shannon. US Preclearance facilities from Shannon have also attracted interest from British Airways.

More damaging to Shannon was Michael O’Learys near total pull out after his dreamtime airport charges came to an end. Despite all the rhetoric, both Aer Lingus and Ryan Air remain very active on the London route.

That said, the airport is in rapid decline and the airport authority lacks autonomy to tackle this. Denis Brosnan (Mid-West Task Force on Jobs) proposes radical reforms, unfortunately his proposals only made it to the bottom of page 2 of the Limerick Leader. :(


PVC King wrote: . . . . . . . it seems like the tunnel cost €500m . . . . . .


The tunnel itself is only one from six sections of the scheme. I wonder, what exactly did the “N7 Limerick Southern Ring Phase II” cost to build? (i.e. construction, land, design)

N7 Limerick Southern Ring Phase II (Limerick Tunnel Scheme) NRA ~ PPP

Period of Concession
The contract was signed on the 18th August 2006 and will extend for 35 years from that date. The construction is anticipated to take approximately 4 years and DirectRoute will be responsible for collection of tolls for a period of approximately 31 years

Summary Overview
For infrastructure with an estimated cost (construction and on-going operations and maintenance) of €660m, excluding land/planning/ preparatory design costs, the State will pay €180m (excluding land/preparatory costs) throughout the 4 year construction period along with a further €60m during the operational period. The State will recoup monies by means of revenue share, rates and taxes.
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Re: Limerick Transport

Postby PVC King » Sat Jun 19, 2010 11:16 pm

The BA situation is clever but is predicated on two factors; firstly the runway at City is too short for a plane to take off with a trans-atlantic fuel load and secondly the obvious pre-clearance and disembarkation into a domestic terminal in NY.

For infrastructure with an estimated cost (construction and on-going operations and maintenance) of €660m, excluding land/planning/ preparatory design costs, the State will pay €180m (excluding land/preparatory costs) throughout the 4 year construction period along with a further €60m during the operational period. The State will recoup monies by means of revenue share, rates and taxes.


If the state got 9kms of motorway standard route including a tunnel for €180m then it does put a very different complexion on the project to that put forward by Tim O'Brien and that scenario would assume that all cost over-runs were taken on by the syndicate vs the govt then it would represent value for money plus an opportunity for the syndicate to make a return on the basis of 27,000 cars per day as claimed in the RTE article below

40,00 walk through Limerick Tunnel
Saturday, 19 June 2010 23:03
An estimated 40,000 people walked under the River Shannon through the new Limerick Tunnel which opened to the public for an open day today.

It was the last chance for the public to walk the tunnel before it officially opens at the end of July.

The Limerick Tunnel took four years to construct at a capital cost of €660m, and is one of the biggest infrastructural projects ever in the Mid-West region - rivalled only by the construction of the hydroelectric power station at Ardnacrusha during the early 1930s.

It is due to open at the end of July, well ahead of its scheduled opening date of 17 September.

The tunnel will provide a fourth crossing of the river Shannon in Limerick, and will take an estimated 27,000 cars out of the city centre.

The tunnel will improve access times for commuters to the city, as well as access to Shannon Airport, Galway, Cork, Kerry and Dublin.

The open day was from 10am to 7pm, but thousands of people had already gathered from 9am to be among the first group through the tunnel.

Direct Route, the company which built the tunnel, also provided food and canteen facilities at the end of the tunnel, and park and ride facilities to help in traffic management.

They were hoping to raise over €100,000 for charities through the sale of a special commemorative brochure.
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Re: Limerick Transport

Postby jimg » Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:55 am

The main reason given to justify the spend on a tunnel was aesthetic which seems ludicrous for this part of the river. I vaguely recall of hearing estimates that the tunnel was going to cost at least 200m more than a low level bridge with an opening; I would have suspected the excess cost to be much more but since it was never a tender option we will never know for sure. The future of Limerick port was also used to justify the tunnel option even though this reason has since evaporated.

Personally I'd rather the low-level bridge option was taken and the 200m+ had been spent on better interchanges along the southern ring or fixing some of the nearby kinks in the aging N18 like around Setright's cross where a number of people have lost their lives in recent years.

The NDP/NRA structure seems to lack something which would encourage maximizing value and utility; some of their projects have the definite sheen of gold-plating when there are many simpler and less prestigious (from an engineering perspective) projects which would provide great utility but for which the NRA seem to have little enthusiasm.
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Re: Limerick Transport

Postby PVC King » Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:18 pm

There is certainly an element of over specification across the wider roads programme but on this if the cost was €180m to the exchequer and if the average cost per kilometer on Dublin - Cork was €11m per kilometer implying a like for like cost of €99m based on a 9 kms route then I don't see a €180m cost as being totally out of the ballpark. Clearly the private sector is betting on the 27,000 cars per day estimated as a base figure as increasing over time to give them a return; as they are the majority investors I think the figures on this are a pass at worst.

What scares me is the €1bn Tuam Motorway which has gone to the EIB for funding; population of Tuam of 2,997 people or an investment of €333,333 per member of the population. Better sending the good burghers of Tuam to retire on the Algarve on Greek style pensions.
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Re: Limerick Transport

Postby Tuborg » Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:56 pm

Some fairly hopeless journalism on display yet again in relation to a major infrastructural project. Why oh why don't they just do a bit of research before hand! :rolleyes:

Phase 2 of the Southern Ring Road is costing €660 million. The project is made up of 9.75km's of dual carriageway,a 2.3km link road, a 675m tunnel, a 750m causeway across Bunlicky lake, four interchanges, 11 bridges, 6 underpasses and 2 toll plazas. Virtually the whole scheme (apart from a small section at Ballykeeffe) is also constructed on an embankment due to the poor ground conditions.

As regards the decision to go with the tunnel option. The Route Selection Report came to the following conclusion...

Provision of the tunnel option would have the following advantages compared with the low level opening bridge:

• Road traffic free flow eliminating disruption on approximately 400 times per year or 20% of peak traffic periods,

• River traffic free flow removing any constraint to operation and development of the port and recreational traffic on the river,

• Eliminating the need for co-ordination and imposition of constraints on the crossing operator having regard to port activities,

• Reduced long term environmental impacts, while accepting that the construction impacts of the tunnel on the environment are more severe,

• Reduced reliance on the effectiveness of the operator performance in delivering level of service, while recognising that efficient tunnel management is also critical to minimising
downtime due to service failures,

• Availability of significant public support for the tunnel compared to the bridge based on the public consultation and opinions expressed by elected members reflected the general view that freeflow for road and river traffic offers the best long-term socioeconomic
benefit to Limerick and to the region.



In conclusion, the number of risk and level of service benefits may be considered to outweigh the additional costs of the tunnel crossing compared to the low level opening bridge for the Limerick Southern Ring Road Phase II.

There are significant benefits associated with a tunnel crossing which may be considered to outweigh the relatively small economic disadvantage.

Hence, the tunnel option is recommended.
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Re: Limerick Transport

Postby Griff » Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:19 pm

Someone said to me ( while walking through the tunnel last Saturday) that this project would never have seen the light of day if it was mooted during the current climate.. kinda have to agree - it smacks of the loadsa money bertie ahern days... it could have been done on the cheap with a low level bridge ( but architecturally beautiful - a la Waterford bypass) with enough clearance for pleasure craft.... and moving all shipping to Foynes - and upset lots of people about the loss of Limerick as a dock..I know...but still - we have it and it is a fantastic piece of engineering and its better building with money than pouring it into dead banks..
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Re: Limerick Transport

Postby CologneMike » Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:37 pm

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New drive to finish motorway after collapse delays opening (Irish Times)

KATHRYN HAYES

A BIG drive is under way to complete construction of the major motorway from north Tipperary to Limerick after the opening had to be delayed because part of the road collapsed into a bog.

A spokesman for the National Roads Authority (NRA) has said it has been reassured that the final section of the new motorway between Nenagh and Limerick will be finished by year-end.

The €425 million road will link the Limerick southern ring road with the existing Nenagh bypass. At present the completed motorway comes to a sudden end near Birdhill, Co Tipperary.

The construction of the 38km motorway section between Annacotty and Nenagh was contracted to Bóthar Hibernian almost four years ago and was due for completion and opening in May 2009.

However, the contractors hit serious difficulties at Anaholty bog, where the almost completed road collapsed earlier this year.

It is understood that tens of thousands of steel-reinforced concrete piles had been driven into the bog to support the road. But following the collapse, a concrete and steel bridge is to be built over the entire area to establish a stable base for the motorway.

Seán O’Neill of the NRA said the final section of the Limerick to Nenagh road would open by the end of the year. “We are being reassured by the contractor that the project will be completed by the end of the year, but this is a design-build contract so any of the costs incurred due to difficulties with the Anaholty bog are borne by the contractor,” he said.
“We are obviously disappointed [with the delay] as we would liked to have seen the public benefit sooner but obviously the contractor is dealing with a difficult situation,” he continued.

A spokesman for Limerick County Council said it was satisfied the contractor was dealing with the difficulties as best it could. The spokesman stressed, however, that the contractor had to address any difficulties arising during the construction.

“Under the terms of the ‘design-build-operate’ contract between Limerick County Council and Bóthar Hibernian any issues arising from the construction of the motorway are to be addressed by the contractor in question,” he said.


. . . . . But following the collapse, a concrete and steel bridge is to be built over the entire area to establish a stable base for the motorway.


From reading the following accounts below where thousands of piles were driven into the “Bottomless Bog”, they want to be nearly thinking in terms of a suspension bridge. ;)

Sponge Bob (Boards.ie) flagged this two interesting articles concerning the “Bottomless Bog”.

"Pile Driver magazine feature" (Lloyd Acoustics) and "The use of geotextiles in construction over soft ground" (PDF)

PileDriver magazine feature Lloyd Acoustics

The N7 National Primary Route is the main link between Dublin and Limerick. Ireland’s National Development Plan 2000-2006 identified that urgent improvements to this section of road infrastructure were needed. Limerick County Council and North Tipperary County Council, in partnership with the National Roads Authority (NRA), planned to develop a new 38km ‘high quality dual carriageway’ between Nenagh and Limerick (Western Limerick).

The 38km project consists of 28km motorway standard cross section, on a green field site, it will traverse two peat bogs (marshes) – at Annaholty and Drominboy – and connect to a 10km section of the existing Nenagh Bypass, which will be widened to dual carriageway standard.

In November 2006 Limerick County Council awarded the contract to design and build the N7 Nenagh to Limerick High Quality Dual Carriageway to Bothar Hibernian N7 JV. Bothar Hibernian is a consortium comprising contractors Mota-Engil (Portugal), Michael McNamara Company and Coffey Construction Ltd.

Mota-Engil Engenharia e Construcao S.A. is a Portuguese public quoted company with turnover in excess of €1.3 billion. They have 60 years of engineering and construction experience in 20 countries over 3 continents.

Michael McNamara and Company is a wholly Irish owned company with almost 60 years experience. It has a turnover in excess of € 500 million and employs over 500 people placing it in the top three building contractors in Ireland.

Coffey Construction Limited. Coffey Group is also Irish owned and with 33 years experience is one of the market leaders in the Building, Environmental and Civil Engineering Industry, with a turnover in excess €120 million.

Lloyd Acoustics Limited are an independent pile foundation testing company, providing re-assurance to piling and main contractors of their foundations using modern testing techniques.

In April 2008 Lloyd Acoustics (LA) signed a contract with Bothar Hibernian N7 JV to become the specialist independent pile testing company on the project. The agreement nominated LA to carry out dynamic pile testing, CAPWAP analysis and static load testing on the piles which form the foundation for the new road as it crosses the two peat bogs at Annaholty and Drominboy.

Bother Hibernian, along with their nominated engineers, Hyder Consulting considered various methods for the piling of the two bogs. The use of Continuous Flight Auger, bored cast in situ piles and AuGeo piles was discounted due to the extreamly weak soils. This left the driven pile options, steel piles were deemed too expensive and wood would be susceptable to the organic deterioration of material in the peat soils, therefore pre-cast concrete piles were considered the most appropriate solution. The mechanical method of jointing the piles was chosen, due to tensile and lateral load capacity and cost.

The driving criteria for the hydraulic piling was also designed by the engineers Hyder Consulting, Junttan PM 20 piling rigs were chosen rather than crawler cranes because of their low centre of gravity and ability to pitch 13 and 14 single meter length piles and drive them with the correct, efficient, hydraulic impact hammer.

Hyder also had overall responsibility for the pile design, the design of the temporary piling platform, the spacing of the piles, the load application at each pile, the overall pile driving, review and ‘set’ at final driving. This was aimed at providing external foundation adjudication.

FK Lowry Piling were the nominated piling contractors, they are an Irish based company with over 30 years experience in the industry, they also own one of the largest pre-cast piling facilities in the country. FK Lowry encountered several obstacles during the contract, not least of which was actually getting equipment and plant to site.

It was decided because of size of the project and number of piles involved, that casting in yards in Northern Ireland and transporting piles to site was too expensive. FK Lowry set up a casting facility to make piles close to site and haul them a few miles to the two bogs. This was not an easy task, piles are made in a very controlled environment and it was difficult to start producing with unfamiliar concrete and contractors unfamiliar with how to work the casting beds. However, this was deemed necessary as a stockpile of 30,000 linear metres of 12m piles was needed at any one time and the total estimated contract was for 200,000 linear metres.

The Junttan piling rigs weighed in excess of 60 tonnes and the temporary platform was so weak that it was necessary to have a distance of 60m between each piling rig. This meant the driving of the piles had to be done in a very organised manner and the program had to be scheduled to accommodate this. Trying to keep the verticality of piles also proved very difficult, the bog was constantly moving due to the vehicles tracking and trying to lift lengths of concrete 30cm square by 12m long and keep them vertical was challenging.

When it came to driving the preliminary piles there were a few unexpected incidents. The bog was so weak that after the initial blows to punch the pile through the temporary stone platform, the pile fell 12m in 2.5 seconds, which was an alarming experience for the rig drivers. :eek: The piles were then jointed and although the estimated lengths were 18-21m, critical preliminary piles showed the drivability was much greater than had been predetermined in the engineers design. A commercial decision was made, that the test piles should be jointed again at 21m and driven until the 'set' criteria was reached, incredibly the piles reached depths of 36m in some areas of the bogs. The piles were now much deeper than the pre-determined contract dictated and the design engineers were adamant that pile capacity must be achieved to avoid a re-design of the piling layout.

At this point Lloyd Acoustics began the testing program. We performed re-strike dynamic testing of the preliminary piles, at a period of time after installation, to establish that the pile was still intact, had it’s integrity and that the joints were not damaged. This test also verified the capacity at the end of drive and that the pile was calibrated to the ‘set’ criteria. Capacities were then verified by CAPWAP testing, this yielded that the distribution of pile load was a 70/30% split, this being a 70% bottom to a 30% shaft resistance, this on piles as deep as 36m!

Lloyds were also to carry out static load testing; this application is commonly used to verify the applied load to the pile head with hydraulic jacks. The original specification had called for Kentledge load testing, but it had become apparent that this method was not suitable. The footprint of any Kentledge system, regardless of frame size, is so highly concentrated that the pile head movement would be influenced as the support blocks were on unstable ground. It also wasn't possible to guarantee that the platform would hold, considering Kentledge loads of up to 300 tonnes were needed.

LA were asked to come up with an alternative design to statically load the test piles in accordance with ICE procedures (the standard UK code of practice). We recommended the use of sacrificial ground anchors and had to research the market quite thoroughly at this point, as the loadings on these tests needed to be as high as 300 tonnes. This proved difficult as in a self drilled bar application the anchors have several different wall thicknesses and therefore, to relate this directly to capacity, you must have sufficient rock sockets.

At this stage the pre-cast piles had found rock at much deeper levels than expected, so this was deemed as an excellent solution, because at each of the nominated static load test positions, the rock depth would be verified by the installation of the sacrificial anchors. This was accepted by Bothar as being an ideal opportunity to calibrate the piles and recalibrate the rock levels of the site, which originally had been shown at much less depth.

The installation of these anchors was then put out to tender with LA winning the contract. The works were carried out by a specialist drilling contractor, drilling on behalf of and supervised by LA, the selection of piles for the static load tests was done by Hyder. Over the extent of the two bogs we drilled over 7000 linear meters of two types of self drilled bar, the typical lengths of these bars ranged from 29m to 38m. The rock socket on each bar was between 5 and 6m and they were installed in a cement grout application.

To cope with the demand we had full time representation on site and site office was set up, giving our engineers a facility to analyse data and to monitor the static load tests, it also allowed us to oversee the installation of ground anchors.

The static load tests were then carried out using specialist automated beam systems, designed specifically for the bog and able to operate with just two anchors. This, in combination with a high yield anchor bars, contributed to a significant cost saving, as it was originally assumed that four anchors would be used.

Using our automated, hydraulic load testing systems in tandem with our reaction beams was an efficient method of carrying out the static load tests required. Lloyd Acoustics automated load testing system allowed several tests to be monitored remotely by an engineer at the site office, this allows the on site technicians to continue with other testing or preparation for subsequent tests. At the peak of testing we had three load test systems running simultaneously, with test information sent directly to our dedicated website for review. The automated systems apply incremental loading, via hydraulic jacks, directly to the pile head, without the need for manual application. This application is carried by data loggers controlling low to high pressure pumps.

One of the main obstacles we faced was the volume of site traffic passing in heavy earthmoving vehicles, the weight of these machines and the uneven surface of the temporary platform caused a significant amount of vibration across the site. During load tests very sensitive gauges are measuring pile displacement, the vibration created by site traffic was disturbing the frame to which the gauges were attached, therefore leading to poor data quality and false readings. This led us to the decision to perform the static load tests at weekends when there would be no vehicular movement and therefore no vibration. On more productive weekends we were able to carry out seven tests using three systems.

In addition to our remote monitoring, we were able to display data from the testing live on our website. All parties involved in the piling welcomed this technological advantage, as it gave up to the minute data on how the piles were performing. Along with the current data, our website also provided access to an archive service in which all previous tests reports could be downloaded by our clients.

The static load testing began in May 2008 and continued until Christmas, at which point testing was abandoned for the winter. This was due to poor weather and other commercial issues.

Testing recommenced in April 2009 and was fully completed by August 2009. Lloyd Acoustics successfully carried out 28 preliminary static load tests in Annaholty Bog and 28 in Drominboy. These piles were also subjected to 100% dynamic tests and CAPWAP analysis. Lloyds dynamically testing approximately 10% of the overall contract piles, of which 7000 - 8000 were installed, this equated to nearly 800 dynamic tests carried out by Lloyd Acoustics drop hammer, a specifically designed re-strike hammer mounted on a JCB handler for viability and handling. Contract testing also included approximately 185 static pile load tests across both bogs with sacrificial anchors installed at each test location to provide tension reaction.

The first 7km section of the Nenagh to Limerick N7, the area including the new Thurles link road, opened on 17th December 2009. The remaining sections are expected to carry traffic from April 2010. Pat Furlong, Bóthar Hibernian’s project manager for the Nenagh-Limerick scheme, has expressed confidence that the new road will open by the revised deadline of April. He said ‘The vast majority of outstanding works are now rapidly nearing completion and that the project is effectively at its “finishing off” stage. Construction of the road through bog lands near Annaholty and Drominboy proved more difficult than anticipated and attributed to the delay but the problem has been successfully resolved through modern day engineering.’
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Re: Limerick Transport

Postby Tuborg » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:21 am

CologneMike wrote:
New drive to finish motorway after collapse delays opening


It looks as if they've opted for the same solution that was used at Drominboy (the other troublesome bog area). The piles failed on a section here so a large concrete slab was built across them to provide a supporting base for the road surface.

At Annaholty bog, its seems that a number of piles failed to reach solid rock beneath the bog resulting in the collapse of the section of road.

The concrete structure appears to have stabilised the section at Drominboy, lets hope it works here aswell!

Concrete support structure at Drominboy Bog by Berty (Taken Summer 2009)

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Re: Limerick Transport

Postby foinse » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:43 am

Seems the Cllr who wanted the Rosbrien interchange closed off at Carew Park, now wants his decision reversed:

Access to N20 road could be restored in Limerick city


Published Date:
05 July 2010
By Mike Dwane
THE €7m designated under regeneration for access off the Southern Ring Road must be used to design the Rosbrien Interchange allowing two-way access past Carew Park to the Childers Road, according to Cllr Ger Fahy.
Since the in-bound lane from Rosbrien was closed off last month, Southill had been cut off and "this is a serious situation which has caused great disquiet and anger among residents of the southside of the city," Cllr Fahy declared.

Cllr John Gilligan enquired if this was the same Ger Fahy who "insisted it be closed off when it was being planned seven years ago?"

But Cllr Fahy replied that "times had changed", southside residents had changed their minds and he was with them.

The NRA has explained that two-way access was always a temporary arrangement and the inbound lane had been closed to coincide with the imminent opening of the Limerick Tunnel. This is what the contractors had been asked to do after extensive public consultation and Limerick City Council at that stage wanted outbound access only from the Childers Road.

But Cllr Jim Long said the context to that stance was completely different.

"In 2001, that was the proposal and councillors and residents agreed that it should be closed off once it was finished. But that was in the context of safety concerns for the Roxboro Swimming Pool and Carew Park FC and children running across a busy road. Since then, Roxboro Swimming Pool has closed and Carew Park have relocated across the road. The position has changed but the NRA's position is that they contracts have been signed and the contractors would have to be compensated," Cllr Long said.

Cllr Fahy said he would continue to lobby the NRA to restore inbound access and this was also the view of the Limerick Regeneration Agency.

"I spoke with Brendan Kenny yesterday and Regeneration's preferred option is to have it opened for inbound traffic.

There is €7 million identified for access from the Southern Ring Road announced as part of the 26 regeneration projects. Money is there. There is another €5 million there for the upgrading of the Childers Road which could be of benefit as well," Cllr Fahy said.

Director of services Pat Dromey said there were a number of options which could be pursued with Regeneration over the coming months.
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Re: Limerick Transport

Postby Dan Sullivan » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:41 pm

I have to say the local cllrs haven't covered themselves in glory with this, it seems like they didn't really think this proposal to close off the access through at all. Or maybe they weren't paying attention to the detail of the plans at all.
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Re: Limerick Transport

Postby CologneMike » Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:16 pm

"In 2001, that was the proposal and councillors and residents agreed that it should be closed off once it was finished. But that was in the context of safety concerns for the Roxboro Swimming Pool and Carew Park FC and children running across a busy road. Since then, Roxboro Swimming Pool has closed and Carew Park have relocated across the road. The position has changed but the NRA's position is that they contracts have been signed and the contractors would have to be compensated," Cllr Long said.


With hindsight a pedestrian bridge would have been the proper solution back then.

Instead they relocated Carew Park FC and closed the Roxboro Swimming Pool!!!!

It is bizarre to see money ear marked for the regeneration of Southill been used to rectify re-access from the Southern Ring Road (via Rossbrien Motorway Junction?).

This €7 million could have been better spent on improving the swimming pool etc, etc.

Those city councillors opposing the bus lanes into the city should take this lesson here on board! :mad:
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Re: Limerick Transport

Postby Tuborg » Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:56 pm

How clueless are these councillors? I bet the clowns who voted for the removal of the access road and now want it magically restored don't even understand the layout of the interchange.

The reality of the situation is that the M7 East to M20 South slip lane now blocks the path of a potential inbound link. Restoring this link while maintaining free flowing, grade separated movements would require a fairly substantial reconfiguration of the interchange.

Considering how things work here though. If gombeenism wins out and some sort of a link is provided. We'll probably see something utterly ridiculous like a roundabout or traffic lights being used to control traffic movements! :rolleyes:
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Re: Limerick Transport

Postby foinse » Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:55 am

I can only think of one way of doing it without causing too much disruption, would be an exit further back the M20 inbound with a tunnel under the M7 leading to the roundabout at the roxboro side of the motorway. It'll probably cost more than €7m though haha.
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Re: Limerick Transport

Postby KeepAnEyeOnBob » Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:06 pm

Tuborg wrote:How clueless are these councillors? I bet the clowns who voted for the removal of the access road and now want it magically restored don't even understand the layout of the interchange.

The reality of the situation is that the M7 East to M20 South slip lane now blocks the path of a potential inbound link. Restoring this link while maintaining free flowing, grade separated movements would require a fairly substantial reconfiguration of the interchange.

Considering how things work here though. If gombeenism wins out and some sort of a link is provided. We'll probably see something utterly ridiculous like a roundabout or traffic lights being used to control traffic movements! :rolleyes:


Actually probably a roundabout, but in terms of the national road traffic, (i.e. not to/from Childers Road) it would probably only be the Galway to Cork traffic having to go through the roundabout (as well as most directions to/from city). Not too bad, but less freeflow for traffic from the city onto the M20/ring road than there is at present.
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Re: Limerick Transport

Postby Tuborg » Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:21 pm

KeepAnEyeOnBob wrote:Actually probably a roundabout, but in terms of the national road traffic, (i.e. not to/from Childers Road) it would probably only be the Galway to Cork traffic having to go through the roundabout (as well as most directions to/from city). Not too bad, but less freeflow for traffic from the city onto the M20/ring road than there is at present.


It's the cheapest and therefore probably the most likely option but it would also mess up the flow of traffic through the interchange.

It really is highly unfortunate that parochial interests were allowed to have such an impact on the design of such an important piece of infrastructure. The opportunity existed to build a free flowing, full access junction here (it's essentially a green field site after all). This would have taken the pressure off poorly designed interchanges such as the N24 & N69. Will we ever learn! :(
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Re: Limerick Transport

Postby Tuborg » Tue Jul 20, 2010 5:04 pm


€660m Limerick Tunnel to be opened by Taoiseach next Tuesday ([url=www.limerickleader.ie/news/660m-Limerick-Tunnel-to-be.6428549.jp"]Limerick Leader[/url])

By Nick Rabbitts

THE Limerick Tunnel will open to traffic next Tuesday, July 27, when Taoiseach Brian Cowen cuts the ribbon at the €660m facility.
It is understood the National Roads Authority (NRA) have still to provide a final safety certificate. But it is expected that this will be signed off by the end of this week.

The opening of the 670-metre long Limerick Tunnel will see 100 new jobs created, as well as the removal of up to 20,000 cars daily from Limerick's congested city centre streets.

Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Maria Byrne has welcomed the impending opening of the project - which will be operated on a public-private partnership by Direct Route (Limerick) for 30 years, after which it will be handed back to the NRA.

"The sooner it opens the better. People are looking forward to it, because it will ease pressure on the Rosbrien Road which has been inundated with traffic recently. It will remove an awful lot of unneccesary traffic from the city," the Mayor told the Limerick Chronicle.

Opponents of the €4m scheme to construct bus lanes along O'Connell Avenue and out to the county boundary have pointed to the loss of traffic from the city because of the tunnel - suggesting this will nullify the need for the green bus routes.

Mayor Byrne - who lives in O'Connell Avenue - added: "This will hopefully show that bus lanes are not necessary here. Obviously it is quiet at the moment, but when the schools come back in September, we will have a true reflection of the impact the tunnel has."



Hmmmmm, whats this Tom King of Direct Route said last week.

"We are not holding up the opening for the presence of government ministers."

Irish Examiner July 17th


With Fianna Fail overseeing the almost total collapse of the Mid-West economy. Clowen just couldn't resist gatecrashing this party. No doubt he'll be telling all and sundry how his government have delivered so much for the region over the last number of years! :mad:

Also, take note of Cllr.Maria Byrne's comments on the proposed bus lane on O'Connell Avenue. :rolleyes:
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Re: Limerick Transport

Postby Dan Sullivan » Tue Jul 20, 2010 5:15 pm

I wonder how cllr Byrne would react if Bus Eireann did the sensible thing and simply removed all the bus stops along O'Connell Ave. and ran the service purely for those who want to get in and out of town. How many along O'Connell Ave would be complain about the lack of a bus then.
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Re: Limerick Transport

Postby cheebah » Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:55 pm

CologneMike wrote:I wonder would the South Circular Road be the better route here for cycle-lanes between the Crescent S.C. and the City Centre? Though residential street parking will remain a major contentious issue.



I attended the consultation process for this. The south circular option for cycling is definitely off the agenda, cyclists are expected to use bus lane going inbound and outbound the narrower traffic lane is a safer option for cyclists according to city council. Research shows this etc etc. :). In that regard, i'm surprised that local green rep James Nix has embraced the plan so much. I think the plans should have been tweaked to accomodate cycling more.
As I said before lost opportunity.
Dan's suggestion regards removing bus stops has got coverage in Limerick Leader. Someone should be talking for the residents- probably in the region of 20-30 % who actually do want bus lane.
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Re: Limerick Transport

Postby Dan Sullivan » Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:56 pm

cheebah wrote:I attended the consultation process for this. The south circular option for cycling is definitely off the agenda, cyclists are expected to use bus lane going inbound and outbound the narrower traffic lane is a safer option for cyclists according to city council. Research shows this etc etc. :). In that regard, i'm surprised that local green rep James Nix has embraced the plan so much. I think the plans should have been tweaked to accomodate cycling more.
As I said before lost opportunity.
Dan's suggestion regards removing bus stops has got coverage in Limerick Leader. Someone should be talking for the residents- probably in the region of 20-30 % who actually do want bus lane.


My suggestion got somewhat garbled in the Leader but it was basically correct, if the Green route is rejected and it is seriously suggested that the Green lanes come into the city via the Dock rd. then Bus Eireann should give immediate notice to change their route and to remove all bus stops after the Crescent, and go down the SC, and Ashbourne to the Dock rd. And plan to run the route purely to service the suburbs and the city centre. If people along the route don't want the bus then let them do without it.

That sounds like the only viable alternative route as there is no other means to access the Dock rd from the main artery into the city that would be able to take the buses without major works being required, and also only by avoiding the Crescent (if you were to go down Father Russell to get to the Dock road. Note it would be the county that would have to make those road modifications. Do they realise that the county and city councils won't exist in their current form in a few months time?)

The rather bonkers response from the Mayor is that it is Expressway buses that are causing on congestion on the O'Connell Ave., Ballinacurra stretch of road into the city. How many buses per hour would Bus Eireann run down that route? Given that buses going south (to Kerry and the like) out of the city go down Hyde road these days and the buses to Cork head to the bypass to get on the dual carriageway ASAP.

When was the last time the Mayor got an express-way bus, I wonder? So a dozen or so buses per hour are causing congestion, but many hundreds of cars aren't a factor at all.

I also noted the argument made by a business person from the area about people going by his premises in buses at 50 mph! First up, it's pretty damn hard to do 50 mph on that stretch of road at the best of times, 2ndly it would be illegal to do so, and 3dly how does making the buses go more slowly help his business?

I'm not saying these people are thick but they've giving us little evidence that they're using their brains at all.
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