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Costs double on Irish roads

THE COST of Ireland's roads programme has nearly doubled due to construction inflation, increased land costs and design upgrades, it emerged last month.

A spokesman for Ireland's National Roads Authority said that between US$5bn and US$6bn would need to be added to the US$6.7bn 2000 to 2006 National Development Plan.

The spokesman put the hike down to underestimation of road construction inflation which has hit 20% since 1999. There were also significant changes to road schemes including motorway upgrades, and extra money was awarded to landowners after a lengthy dispute in 2001.

Ireland's budget last week allocated US$1bn for spending on new roads next year, US$180M more than had been indicated last month. Most of this will go to a number of large projects including the ongoing Dublin Port Tunnel and the 40km public private partnership-built M4 Kilcock to Kinnegad motorway to start next year.

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