Dáil Éireann - Volume 401 - 10 July, 1990

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Dunleer (Louth) By-Pass.

13. Mr. Bell asked the Minister for the Environment when he expects that the by-pass at Dunleer, County Louth, will commence; the expected cost; the level of EC funding which will be made available for the project; the contract time; the expected level of employment during construction; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Mr. Flynn: Cangy Bridge, which is part of the proposed Dunleer by-pass, was completed earlier this year.

The closing date for the receipt of tenders for the main contract for the by-pass [853] was 22 June 1990. My Department are currently awaiting a recommendation from Louth County Council regarding the appointment of a contractor. Subject to the acceptability of the local authority's recommendation and subject to the provision of the usual performance bonds, insurances and a valid C2 or tax clearance certificate by the contractor, I would expect work on the main contract to commence in September and to take about three years to complete.

The level of employment on construction works will be a matter for the contractor. It is expected that the proposed by-pass, which is 10 km in length, will cost £24 million, in 1989 prices. The Community Support Framework adopted for Ireland for the five-year period to 1993 provides for assistance at a rate of 75 per cent for improvement works on national primary routes. The proposed by-pass is expected to qualify for this rate of EC assistance.

Mr. Quinn: Would the Minister give the House an undertaking that his Department will contact Louth County Council in advance of their contacting him to ensure that, notwithstanding the holiday period, the finalisation of an acceptable contractor out of the tendering process would be secured and that the starting-up date, as instanced by him in September will be met?

Mr. Flynn: I was hoping that that would not be necessary in that, on the last day of May, we sanctioned the appointment of ten engineers and some draftsmen to act as supervisory staff on the project. Having taken that step it would be unthinkable not to have the matter disposed of as quickly as possible.

Mr. Quinn: While appreciating the Minister's belief in the ability of local authorities to advance the national roads programme, evidence would not suggest that their achievement in this area is as good as we would like. Would he give the House an assurance that he or his Department will contact Louth County [854] Council to ensure that this work proceeds without delay?

An Ceann Comhairle: We are now having repetition.

Mr. Flynn: I would hope to do that. We have no problems in so far as spending the total amount allocated for road improvements this year is concerned and the draw-down from Structural Funds. We are not in any way anxious about that.