The planned Metro project for north Dublin will be directly funded by the Exchequer and will not form part of any PPP deal, says the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Pascal Donohoe.
Speaking to CECA members at a recent meeting in Construction House, Dublin, the Minister stated that this decision is a “clear stance” at the moment but future governments are likely to keep the decision under review.
CECA members had gathered to hear the Minister discuss the capital programme. According to the President of the CECA Pat Lucey, the measures announced under the Public Capital Programme in September have the potential to make a very positive impact in the construction industry, and therefore the Irish economy more broadly, in terms of the quality of infrastructure available to meet the demands of a growing population and the needs of Foreign Direct Investment businesses.
The CECA President, in stating that “we’re ready to deliver the next national plan”, said knowledge about timelines for projects was crucial for the sector. “I hope that’s the one thing you take from here,” he said to Minister Donohoe.
“Civil engineering contractors have the capacity to respond rapidly to these public projects. The industry is certainly more efficient than ever before in terms of technology, machinery, expertise and project management.  In order for projects under the Capital Works Programme to be successful however, the Government and the industry must collaborate in the broadest possible terms and the CECA is committed to working with the public sector to achieve the best possible result for the economy,” said Pat Lucey.
The Minister said the Government “are now planning for the future so we can ensure that the improvements we have made are sustained and our objectives for the years ahead can be met”.
“From my Department’s perspective, this means a €10 billion investment programme, which will protect the transport assets we already have, maintain and improve our road network and allow us to address rising levels of congestion which have come about due to increased economic activity. To secure our future, we have to make the right choices with the funds that are available to us. Investing in our infrastructure future with the aim of creating an additional 45,000 jobs by 2021 puts us on the right path.”
The Minister also said Metro North has a planned launch date of 2026, with a construction start date in 2021.
He mentioned the on-going maintenance of the 10,000km of road surfaces as a major priority, as well as upgrading sea ports to make them fit for purpose. A third lane of motorway between Naas and Newbridge is also planned.
In response to questions the Minister said the mid-term review of the capital programme set for 2018 would have the absence of a Cork to Limerick motorway at the top of the list.
Our image shows (from left to right): Pat Lucy, CECA President, Pascal Donohoe, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Tom Parlon, CIF Director General and Martin Lang, CIF Director Main Contracting