Monday 20 September 2010

Public hearings to begin into DART and Luas projects

PUBLIC hearings into two of the biggest infrastructure projects planned by the State are expected to begin next month.

An Bord Pleanala said yesterday that preliminary hearings into the €3bn DART Underground project and Luas line BXD would take place in Dublin next Friday, with full hearings likely in October.

The Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) plans to link the Sandyford and Tallaght Luas lines, before continuing to Broombridge to service DIT's new campus at Grangegorman.

If approved, the line will run from St Stephen's Green to Dawson Street, College Green, across O'Connell Street and to Parnell Square, continuing to Cabra.

Iarnrod Eireann is also seeking permission to build the DART Underground, which will involve the construction of 8.6km of new rail in the city.

The tunnels will connect the northern and Kildare rail lines with underground stations located at Spencer Dock, Pearse Station, St Stephen's Green, Christchurch and Heuston Station, as well as a street-level Dart station at Inchicore.

If approved, it will extend the DART to Maynooth and Hazelhatch/Celbridge.

Both projects are expected to result in significant disruption to the city centre because main streets, including Westmoreland Street and O'Connell Street, will have to be dug up.

Paul Melia
Irish Independent

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