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Dublin: 6 °C Sunday 8 December, 2019

Weekend closure of Jack Lynch tunnel labelled 'an unmitigated disaster'

Motorists were stuck in tailbacks of up to 90 minutes.

Updated: 19.15

THERE WAS WIDESPREAD criticism from the public after the partial closure of Jack Lynch tunnel in Cork city caused major traffic issues over the weekend.

Drivers were stuck in tailbacks of up to 90 minutes on Saturday afternoon, after the northbound side of the tunnel was closed to carry out repair works.

Many people have questions why the maintenance work was carried out over a bank holiday weekend.

The Cork Jazz Festival was taking place over the weekend, leading to an increased volume of traffic in the city.

Councillor Laura McGonigle, who sits on Cork City Council’s Road and Transport Committee, described the closure of lanes in the tunnel as “an unmitigated disaster that wasn’t thought through”.

McGonigle noted that maintenance usually takes place over night, between 8pm-7am.

She said that the decision to close the tunnel on a busy bank holiday weekend was “absolutely crazy”.

It seems crazy to carry out maintenace when such huge volumes of traffic are on the roads. There was huge frustration over the weekend. Even people who had to travel very short distances got stuck in 90 minute tailbacks.

Engineers have since apologised for the disruption but said that urgent work had to be carried out on the tunnel’s manholes, which were at risk of collapse.

Some of you got in touch with about your views on the tunnel closure.



Councillors have been discussing the issue this evening.

During the meeting, Gerry O’Beirne, the Council’s Director of Services, Roads and Transportation, said that advance warning about the closure had been given to motorists via road signs, text alerts and media advertisements.

In a statement given to councillors, O’Beirne said that the Council “will carry out a review of the restrictions and the impacts to see what changes will be introduced to improve the operation of future daytime restrictions”.

Originally published: 17.32

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Órla Ryan

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