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Limerick forges ahead with new river crossing

A new river crossing in the Irish city of Limerick was set to reach its halfway milestone this week, as precast concrete tunnel sections were due to be tested for water tightness.

Site workers will pump water into a 600m-long and up to 100m-wide casting basin on the north side of River Shannon before checking each of the fi ve, 100m-long sections.

These will then be fl oated into a 12m-deep channel across the Shannon between Bunlicky and Coonagh.

The immersed units will have cut and cover sections at either end to create the new 900m-long tunnel, which is part of a wider €400M (£318M) road scheme that is being built by the Direct Route (Limerick) consortium for the Irish National Roads Authority.

Tunnel immersion will take place over the next few months, with the whole project due to be completed by September 2010.

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