The Prime Minister, Mr Brian Cowen, TD, will opened the final section of the M8 Dublin to Cork motorway on 28th May 2010.
The new wishbone-shaped 41km M7/M8 Portlaoise to Cullahill / Castletown PPP Motorway Scheme, costing €491 million, was completed four months ahead of schedule in a PPP partnership between the National Roads Authority and Celtic Roads Group (Portlaoise) Ltd. It will cut up to 45 minutes off the 238km journey from Dublin to Cork at peak times as it provides a motorway / dual carriageway link between both cities. It is also a significant section of the M7 motorway link between Dublin and Limerick; it is anticipated that the remaining two sections of the M7 towards Limerick will be completed by the end of this year.
Kyran Hurley, Chairman of Celtic Roads Group (Portlaoise) Ltd (CRG) said “The opening of this section of the motorway is a great achievement for CRG Portlaoise, the company which brought together the extensive expertise of NTR, BAM PPP and Iridium. This is the third concession project opened by the company and brings to almost 500 lane kilometres, the amount of national primary route under CRG management. The project has been delivered almost 4 months ahead of schedule and the effort of BAM contractors and Dragados as the design and construction contractor has made this possible. Midlink will fulfil the operation and maintenance services for CRG during the contract.”
The capital investment is €491 million, comprising both private sector and Exchequer funding under the National Development Plan and Transport 21. The preliminary design was part funded by the European Union from the Trans-European Transport (TEN-T) Networks budget. The PPP company who won the contract to design, build and operate the motorway is Celtic Roads Group (Portlaoise) Ltd.