IRELAND'S LARGEST civil engineering project - the £495M Dublin Port Tunnel - is due to open next Wednesday at a ceremony led by Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.
The 4.5km tunnel and associated road works has been built for Dublin City Council under a design and build contract by the Nishimatsu Mowlem Irishenco Consortium. Contractors designers were Haswell and Carl Bro (NCE 20 May 2004).
The tunnel will provide a quick, free access route for lorries travelling between Dublin's M50 ring road and Dublin Port.
Cars can use the tunnel but will have to pay a toll.
Construction of the project was split into three sections - twin horseshoe cut and cover sections to the north and south totalling 2.2km designed by Carl Bro, and a 2.6km central twin bored section running beneath the suburb of Marino designed by Haswell.
The fi ished tunnel has the European standard clearance of 4.65m.
The project was originally due to be completed early in 2005. However, delays caused by problems on the bored section and restricted working hours are all forgotten now as the tunnel team prepare to celebrate the project's completion.
'The scale of everything maximised the issues but the job wasn't really problematic, ' said project design director John Clark-Hughes formerly of Haswell and now with Carl Bro.
'I got particular satisfaction from completing the 14m diameter, 50m long cross passages which are among the largest underground structures in Europe.' 'I'm really proud of the fact that we kept the same lead team together right through the six years' of the project, ' said Carl Bro director in charge of the project Ewan Angus.