AtkinsRéalisRéalis has been appointed by Cork City Council to make key improvements to a strategically important highway which is vital for the economic growth of the city, port and wider regional development.

The professional services and project management organization will take the role of lead technical advisor to Cork City Council on the project to upgrade the 15.5km N40 urban ring road, which is a strategic route through the city.

AtkinsRéalis’ associate director, John O’Donovan, said the N40 Ten T Improvement was an important win for AtkinsRéalis as the project will help to protect the strategic function of the N40 for the future, provide a better experience for motorists and support economic growth.

He added: “This is a key strategic project and will further strengthen AtkinsRéalis’ position as one of the principal technical advisors to Transport Infrastructure Ireland.

“It is a great multi-disciplinary win that will include concept design, feasibility and option selection.”

The N40 currently experiences significant congestion and unreliable levels of service during peak periods. The stretch in scope for improvement runs between the Dunkettle Interchange to the east of Cork City, and the Poulavone Junction (N22) to the south west of Cork City, encompassing 11 junctions,.

The capacity of the route has been challenged in recent times due to increased economic activity and population growth.

AtkinsRéalis has been appointed to identify and assess design solutions along the network, including the 11 grade-separated junctions, which will enhance the operational efficiency of the N40. This will take into account the scheduled completion of the Dunkettle Interchange (J11) Upgrade Scheme, which is expected to have an impact on traffic flow.

John Stapleton, Senior Engineer at Cork City Council, added: “Cork City is set to experience significant population and economic growth in the period to 2040 as referenced in Project Ireland 2040, the National Planning Framework and the National Development Plan.

“Sustainable growth of the type anticipated will help drive the local, regional and national economy. To achieve these broad strategic objectives the state recognises the need to invest in transport infrastructure, in particular where such investment levers value and integrates existing transport infrastructure.

“The N40 Ten T Transport Infrastructure Improvement will serve just such a function. It is an essential piece of transport infrastructure, providing much needed connectivity around Cork City. Cork City Council is delighted to be working on this strategically important project with AtkinsRéalis, Transport Infrastructure Ireland and Cork County Council.”

The scope of work being delivered over the next 18 months by the AtkinsRéalis Cork office, with support from UK specialists, includes:

  • Identifying the impact on the N40 of the scheduled completion of the committed Dunkettle Interchange Upgrade Scheme.
  • Assessing the deficiencies of the existing N40 Transportation Corridor and identify the potential solutions to existing problems.
  • Assessing and identifying impacts and potential mitigation measures that may be required on the N40 Transportation Corridor following from completion of planned complementary schemes and projected population growth envisaged for the region.
  • Applying appraisal techniques to assess innovative design solutions around existing problems, including design solutions for inter-modal interchanges.

In addition to making the improvements to enable better traffic flow, AtkinsRéalis will also deploy its Carbon Assessment Tool to calculate the carbon impact of the various transport options being considered, to ensure it is also the best option for the environment.

AtkinsRéalis has demonstrated its expertise in the sector with the development of the new Junction Layout for the N24 and is currently working on the Cork City Northern Transport Project (CCNTP) which includes a new strategic northern corridor around Cork City.