I usually avoid M50 stories, but this one is going to sneak through:
TENS of thousands of commuters are to face further misery as one of the country’s most notorious traffic black spots is to be dug up.
Motorists will have to negotiate new diversions around the much detested Red Cow interchange on Dublin’s M50 as major works start today.
Confusion is expected to exacerbate congestion as part of the junction — dubbed the ‘Mad Cow’ because of its impact on commuters — is removed.
Transport chiefs have appealed to drivers already coping with lengthy tail-backs at morning and evening rush hours to slow down during the overhaul.
Traffic leaving the interchange onto the N7 away from the city will be diverted onto a temporary road through the LUAS car park from today.
The existing access to the LUAS station will be changed to allow motoristsheading west on the N7 onto Monastery Lane.
The second stage of the two-pronged upgrade is expected to cause further complications from April 30.
The junction between Monastery Road and the N7 will shut and Monastery Lane opened to two-way traffic.
Drivers coming from the city wanting to turn northbound onto the M50 or travelling north looking to go right towards the city will have to make a U-turn at the new signals on Monastery Lane.
Other changes include:
Traffic lights on the northwest of the roundabout will be removed.
Pedestrians will be re-routed to cross the N7 at the LUAS station entrance.
Bus stop at IBIS will be relocated to Monastery Lane.
The free flow of traffic between the N4 and M50 southbound will stop later this month as traffic lights are installed.
The works on the motorway between the N4 and N7 to create an extra lane on each carriageway are expected to be completed by next month.
But upgrades will then begin on the outer verges of either side of the busy section of the M50.
It will be 2010 before the present works on the 32km stretch of motorway between the M1 and Sandyford will be fully completed with three lanes in each direction.