Contracts signed for start of work on Luas Cross City – Varadkar

Minister Varadkar signs the contract for the start of work on the new Luas Cross City line with Acting CEO of the RPA, Rory O’Connor (far left) and Donagh Kelly from KN Network Services.

New www.luascrosscity.ie website launched to provide ongoing information on works

Construction work will start on Luas Cross City within weeks after Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar joined the Railway Procurement Agency and contractors for the formal contract signing.

The first contract was signed today for the €368 million project, which is expected to create around 800 jobs throughout the construction phase. Luas Cross City will join up the existing red and green Luas lines, and link with the Maynooth/Dunboyne commuter line at Broombridge in Cabra.

The RPA estimates that Luas Cross City will attract an additional 10 million passenger journeys each year, producing up to 40 million of passenger journeys across the network.

Passengers will be able to travel from St Stephen’s Green to Broombridge in Cabra in just over 20 minutes on the 5.6km extension. A huge range of new rail journeys will suddenly become possible, including seamless Luas journeys across the city centre, or from Leixlip to St Stephen’s Green, or from Dundrum to Croke Park. Luas Cross City will also connect with suburban rail and bus services.

“It’s a pleasure to attend this contract signing today, which represents a milestone in plans to develop a high-quality public transport network. Luas Cross City will fill a major gap in our infrastructure and will help to make Dublin a properly connected city. Its benefits will be felt far and wide. There’s no doubt that Dublin is suited to light rail and I’m confident that we will all be very proud of this new service in 2017,” Minister Varadkar said.

Work will start in June after the first contract was signed for preliminary enabling works – the Cellar Infill and Investigation Contract – which has been awarded to Clondalkin-based KN Network Services.

RPA’s Acting Chief Executive Rory O’Connor said that the start of construction on Luas Cross City is the most significant public transport event in the city since Luas opened for business in 2004: “It is hugely encouraging for us in the RPA that this project, which will increase our passenger numbers from 30 million to 40 million a year, has been given the go-ahead.”

Minister Varadkar chairs a stakeholders’ group including representatives of all business groups to oversee the delivery of the project and ensure that traffic management and communications arrangements are appropriate and adequate. The RPA and the National Transport Authority are working closely with the City Council, Gardaí, Dublin Bus and the business community on traffic management issues, and a new information website is being launched.

Gerry Murphy, CEO of the National Transport Authority said: “Luas Cross City plays a central role in the overall public transport investment strategy for the Capital City. It will ensure that we get the best value possible from the existing Luas, rail and bus services, as it forms new connections for people. It will also enhance the impact of new investments currently being made in rail, bus, walking and cycling.

“The Authority will ensure that people’s daily lives are disrupted as little as possible while the works are in progress. We will ensure that contractors conduct their works in a speedy and professional manner, and we have set up a new website: www.luascrosscity.ie to give the public and businesses up-to-date information and a fast contact channel to the managing team when they need it.”

It is inevitable that the construction works will lead to some disruption for businesses, but everything possible is being done to ensure that such disruption is kept to a minimum and that the city remains open for business during construction. Businesses in the city centre will of course be one of the major beneficiaries when Luas Cross City is up and running.

Ends

Further details
The first contract involves filling in hundreds of cellars. These are typically brick vaulted spaces previously used for coal storage. These works will be carefully monitored and items of archaeological interest will be recorded. It is necessary to fill in these cellars so that the next phases of the works can begin. The contract will deal with 25 known structures and a further 330 cellars are expected to be identified and filled in as part of this first phase.

Work has already started on the building condition surveys to assess the condition of properties along the Luas Cross City Line. The main construction works for the project will commence in early 2015.