N11/N7 Arklow to Rathnew
The N11 Arklow to Rathnew PPP contract saw BAM PPP and its sister company BAM Civil work in partnership with Transport Infrastructure Ireland on a project for the design, build, finance, operation, and maintenance of the N7 Newlands Cross Flyover and the N11 Arklow Rathnew Dual Carriageway.
The N11 Arklow Rathnew connected the existing M11 Arklow bypass with the M11 Rathnew/Ashford bypass and created a 90 km stretch of motorway/dual carriageway between Dublin and Gorey.
The project consists of four sections:
- Section A – The N11 Arklow/Rathnew element of the scheme consists of the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of approximately 16.5km of dual carriageway in the administrative area of Wicklow County Council.
- Section B – The operation and maintenance of an additional 30 km section of the existing M11 route (Arklow-Gorey and Arklow Bypass), which also involves some upgrade works.
- Section C – The design and construction of a service area north of Gorey which will provide facilities for N11 traffic. The service area facilities will be provided on the western side of the dual carriageway with access to and from the southbound carriageway via an overbridge.
- Section D – The design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the N7 Newlands Cross junction to an overpass grade-separated junction. The N7 mainline will be raised above its existing level while the Belgard/Fonthill Road (R113) will remain at the current level.
SPV General Manager Yvonne Jones outlines some of the benefits this important upgrade of Ireland’s motorway network.
"A key part of the development was the construction of the N7 Newlands Cross flyover which was effectively the final piece in a road network which would allow motorists to travel the 420km journey from Belfast to Cork without having to stop at any traffic lights.
"Newlands Cross had been a notorious bottleneck for motorists and the project saw the replacement of the existing signalised junction at Newlands Cross with a grade separated junction carrying the N7 over Belgard Road via a new flyover.
"The introduction of the new flyover was warmly welcomed, bringing relief to thousands of hard pressed road users, improving connectivity and journey times for business."
At the opening, the then Transport Minister, Paschal Donohoe, said: "The Newlands Cross junction upgrade is open before schedule and it’s an exciting development for regular commuters, for motorists, for hauliers, and for anyone who remembers the frustrating delays and frequent tailbacks that used to occur here at Newlands Cross. The new junction will now also connect our major cities, providing a continuous free flowing route between M50 and the cities of Limerick Cork Kilkenny and Waterford."
The flyover required some innovative construction solutions. Innovative wall panels were constructed off site, with the stone cladding set into the reinforced concrete segments immediately following casting. This allowed for wall panels to be manufactured off-site and then transported and installed as part of the reinforced earth system. This greatly reduced the time and cost associated with cladding the walls on-site.
Jones continued: "Materials for the flyover embankment were sourced locally and environmentally-friendly cement was used to minimise CO2 emissions. The surfacing used in the construction of temporary roads during the project was recycled and reused on road schemes elsewhere.
"The construction of the M11 generated some 400,000m3 of unacceptable material. Given the extremely confined nature of the site and the historical issues around landfill sites in County Wicklow, these materials were re-used on site to mitigate many of the effects of the scheme as a whole."
However, there is no doubt what the main benefit of the project has been.
"Improved safety was undoubtedly the biggest achievement – the work eliminated a section of the N11 which had seen numerous fatalities as well as opening up the N11 to local use."