Momentum is gathering on the €2.4bn (£2.1bn) New Metro North scheme in Dublin with several contract announcements expected over the next few weeks.
A winner for the engineering services contract is expected to be announced in January, ahead of a public consultation starting early next year. The winner will develop concept designs to a full preliminary design, obtain planning and environmental consents and tender construction work.
Grimshaw Architects will provide concept designs after being appointed by Irish transport bodies Transport Infrastructure Ireland and the National Transport Authority (NTA).
The 17km light rail system will cut through the Irish capital from south to north serving 14 stops, six of which will be underground. Work will start in 2021 and the line will open in 2026/27, connecting the city centre to Dublin Airport in 19 minutes.
Arup has been working on the initial designs for the public consultation set to start early 2018.
The metro will most likely link up with the existing green line, a light rail system in the south of the city which has just been extended.
According to the Irish Independent, the NTA has spent £950,000 on the new Metro North scheme this year.
The paper added that around £618M has been set aside for initial planning, design and construction of the new Metro North in the Irish government’s capital plan from 2016-2021.
Plans for a new north metro system in Dublin first appeared in 2001, but the project was put on ice in 2011 as the county’s economy struggled. A revised proposal was released in 2015 and the scheme was included in the government’s 2016-2021 capital investment plan.