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Irish roads programme under threat

BIG CUTBACKS to Ireland's roads programme are expected after a leaked report revealed massive cost overruns.

The report for the Irish Department of Finance says the costs of the planned US$9bn road spend under the National Development Plan have rocketed to over US$14bn. The report blames poor estimating, tender inflation, increased construction costs, planning delays and late starts. The roads budget is also a victim of an economic slowdown in the Republic.

The National Roads Authority budget to be announced next month is expected to show a bleak outlook for the sector. Consultants with projects at early stages, or away from Dublin, fear they will be worst hit.

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