The N22 Baile Bhuirne to Macroom Road Development commenced construction in January 2020. Since then, significant progress has been made with overall construction works approximately 60% complete at the end of 2021. While portions of the scheme may open for use to the public on a phased basis, there is one overall completion date for the 22km scheme. Based on current progress, the scheme is expected to be completed in quarter 4 of 2023.
Deputy Creed said: ‘The completion of this project is going to make such a difference - not just to Macroom, but to all of mid-Cork. And of course, it will transform the experience of residents and tourists travelling to and from the Kingdom. I’m glad to have played a part in making it happen, and I’m delighted to see the steady progress being made day by day.’
The initial phase of the works concentrated on advancing structures in the form of river bridges, road bridges and accommodation underpasses. There are in excess of 40 structures on the project, which are now approximately 90% complete. These were prioritised to create a route through the length of the road development over watercourses and to separate site traffic from local road traffic. Milestones of note under this heading were the placement of 50m long concrete bridge beams over the Sullane and Laney Rivers in late 2020, the push-launch of the 120m steel Bohill Bridge deck in April 2021 and the completion of the flood balancing culverts through the upper reaches of the Carrigadrohid reservoir in January 2022.
In 2021, 1.45 million m3 of material was moved through earthworks, which are approximately 75% complete at present. Current activity is focused on extracting circa 500,000 m3 of rock from a deep cut near the western tie-in, which is circa 30m in depth, where controlled blasting operations to extract the rock are expected to continue until quarter 3 of 2022. This material is being hauled across the Bohill Bridge and the new bridge crossing of the existing N22 at Cúil na Cathrach, to create road embankments in the low-lying middle section of the road, adjacent to the River Sullane. The eastern section of the road, which bypasses the town of Macroom, is the most advanced section, with the first area of mainline road pavement due to start here in quarter 2 of 2022.