»THE M50 UPGRADE

The M50 Upgrade Scheme was one of the largest road schemes to go to construction in the history of Ireland, involving €1 billion investment in 4 years.

The M50 Upgrade Scheme represented a major enhancement to Dublin’s orbital motorway, including widening of the mainline between the M1 and the Sandyford interchange, the upgrade of the M1/N4/N7 interchanges to free-flowing systems, and the improvement of the remaining junctions.

Benefits of the M50 Upgrade

Significantly improved journey times into and out of Dublin including to/from Dublin Airport, Dublin Port and Dun Laoghaire • Journey times from M1 to the M11 reduced by 50% during the day • Increased road capacity which leads to improved traffic flows and congestion relief • More predictable journey times are improving quality of life for commuters • More efficient journeys for haulers and those using the M50 for business travel • Safer journeys for all M50 users • The upgraded M50 completes a modern motorway network and facilitates interconnectivity between Dublin and the main motorway routes to the north, west and south of Ireland • Improves Luas Red Line journey times through the separation of track and road at Junction 9 (N7 Red Cow interchange) • Modernized motorway network around the capital and linking to the rest of Ireland enhances Ireland’s competitiveness in attracting inward foreign investment • Contributes towards the Government’s road safety strategy.

Project Management & Delivery

Construction works on the M50 Upgrade commenced in March 2006 and the final phase opened to traffic on 1st September 2010, four months ahead of schedule. The Construction works were delivered in three separate phases/contracts on behalf of the NRA, as follows:

Contract 1

Jct 7 (N4 Palmerstown) to Jct 10 (Ballymount).

This element was delivered through a Design & Build contract by SIAC-Ferrovial M50 Joint Venture, a partnership between SIAC Construction Ltd and the Spanish Construction Company Ferrovial Agromán S.A., who were joined by a consulting engineering consortium of Hyder Consulting Ltd, PH McCarthy & Partners and Grontmij. Arup Consulting Engineers supervised the contract on behalf of South Dublin County Council and the NRA.

The works delivered under Contract 1 comprised the following:

  • The 8 km section from Junction 7 (N4) through Junction 9 (N7) to Junction 10 (Ballymount) was upgraded from dual two lane motorway to dual three lane motorway, plus a fourth auxiliary lane in each direction between interchanges to facilitate traffic entering and exiting junctions.
  • New free-flowing Interchanges were constructed at Junction 7, (N4, Liffey Valley Interchange) and Junction 9 (N7 Red Cow Interchange) together with a significant upgrade of Junction 10 (Ballymount).
  • A segregated corridor for LUAS was provided including a new 800 m section of tramway, thus removing the need for LUAS and road traffic to cross each other.
  • 12 new bridges were provided.

Contract 2

Junction 3 (M1) to Junction 6 (N3) and Junction 10 (Ballymount) to Jct 14 (Sandyford)

  • Contract 2 was delivered through the M50 Upgrade PPP contract for the finance, design, construction and maintenance of the motorway. The NRA awarded the PPP contract to M50 Concession Limited. The contractor, M50 D&C Limited, comprised FCC Construcción Ireland Limited, Sacyr Ireland Limited and PJ Hegarty & Sons Limited. Atkins Consultant Engineers and Eptisa designed the work on behalf of the contractor. Roughan O’Donovan Limited supervised the contract on behalf of the NRA.The works delivered Contract 2 comprised the following:
    • Upgrading 25 km of motorway to dual three lane from Junction 3 (M1 Airport Interchange) to Junction 6 (N3 Blanchardstown Interchange) and from Junction 11 (N81 Tallaght Interchange) to Junction 14 (R133 Sandyford Interchange).
    • Providing a fourth auxiliary lane along an 18 km section.
    • Upgrading seven of the eight interchanges along this section of the M50.
    • Major upgrade of junctions at the M1, N2 and N3 from grade separated junctions to free-flow /partially free-flow interchanges.

    70 principal structures including major crossings of railway lines, as well as the Royal Canal and the river Dodder.

Contract 3

Junction 6 (N3) to Junction 7 (N4)

  • Contract 3 was delivered through a Design & Build contract by Jons Civil Engineering Ltd. Work commenced in June 2007 and was completed in March 2009. Jon´s designers were Roughan O´Donovan Limited while Arup were the NRA´s engineers on the scheme. The works delivered through Contract 3 comprised the following:

    • Widening a 2 km section of the M50 between Junction 6 (N3 Interchange) and the former West- Link Toll Plaza to dual four lane motorway.
    • Removal of the West-Link Toll Plaza and replacement with dual four lane motorway.

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