Re: Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Home Forums Ireland well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ? Re: Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?


Disjointed thinking over the tunnel 🙁

Editorial (Limerick Leader)

ONE of the reasons, if not the principal reason, why Limerick is getting a tunnel under the Shannon is to facilitate commercial shipping to the city’s Ted Russell Docks.

Shannon Foynes Port Company made a submission to that effect during the consultation period. Engineering opinion opposed a bridge high enough to allow shipping to pass beneath because the access roads would commence to rise a mile north and south of the structure itself.

A low bridge with an opening span was discounted because of potential delays caused by the passage of shipping. But nobody suggested closing the city docks.

Without the city docks in operation, a plain dual carriageway bridge, at the same height as Shannon or Sarsfield bridges, would do, and at a fraction of the cost of a tunnel.

Now, with the tunnel project well under construction and millions already having been spent, the independent chairman of the Limerick Docklands Consultative Forum, Tom Kirby, suggests the closure of the city docks to commercial traffic and the transfer of business to Foynes.

His suggestion that some cruise liners might be enticed to the city would not retrospectively justify the difference in cost between a relatively cheap low bridge and the massively expensive tunnel.

From Mr Kirby’s report, one must infer a lamentable lack of co-ordinated forward thinking as between all the bodies concerned in advance of planning the river crossing.

To find a classic and parallel example of disjointed planning, one need not go far. When, less than a decade ago, the dual carriageway from Limerick to Adare was being constructed, provision was made to accommodate the Limerick to Foynes railway, which runs beside it.

The flyovers were constructed with additional bridge elements to enable trains to pass beneath, thus adding considerably to the cost.

At about the same time, the eastern approach road to Foynes port was being constructed and Iarnrod Eireann wanted the port company to pay for an automatic level crossing where the road would intersect the line.

But the line was carrying no traffic and hadn’t done so for years, would shortly be officially described as “closed”, would be condemned as unsafe at Robertstown Creek bridge and is now not even connected to the national rail network. And now the track is to be bridged again at Greenfields by the southern approach road to the tunnel.

A programme for the future of Limerick docklands, Foynes and the Estuary is required, but it must entail co-ordinated planning to include all the implications, including transport and access, and ongoing costs.

Images (John-Dory loose-grip-99 Declan Mc Grath Shannon Foynes Port Company)

  • Limerick Docks – NRA Tunnel Crossing
  • Adare Railway Station – Closed
  • Foynes Railway Station – Closed
  • Foynes Port

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