Dublin Port Tunnel

About The Tunnel

Dublin Port tunnel opened to traffic on December 20th, 2006. It is a twin bore tunnel of 4.5km in length with a height clearance of 4.65m. It is part of the M50 motorway and completes the northern part of the C-Ring around Dublin city. It is a dedicated route for Heavy Goods Vehicles between the Port, located in the heart of the city and the greater road network via the Coolock Lane Interchange (M50).

All traffic, arriving at, or heading to, Dublin Port must currently travel through the city centre. The completed scheme will take the majority of the heavy goods traffic out of the city and onto the national roads network in 6 minutes. The Tunnel will be toll-free for Heavy Goods Vehicles and coaches over 25 seats. All other vehicles will be tolled.

Planning for Dublin Port Tunnel started approximately ten years prior to commencement of construction. It was part of the Dublin Transportation Initiative in 1993. Pre-planning involved extensive public consultation on route, environmental impact issues, construction method and impact of construction on the local areas, prior to the tender process.

Dublin City Council is the client for the Dublin Port Tunnel Project, which is the largest ever roads transportation project in the Republic of Ireland. The National Roads Authority (NRA) as part of the National Development Plan finances the project and is under the remit of the Department of Transport. The contract for the appointment of the Construction Supervisor went out to tender in the Autumn of 2000 and Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR), with sub-consultants, were appointed in January 2001.

The contract for construction was awarded to the Nishimatsu, Mowlem, and Irishenco consortium (NMI) in December 2000. The NMI consortium is a non-integrated joint venture; the respective parties are responsible for their individual parts of the works. Irishenco were taken over by the Mowlem Group. The European branch of Nishimatsu, Japan, was responsible for the bored tunnelling and railway underpass. Mowlem UK, with Irishenco Ireland, was responsible for the surface carriageways, cut and cover tunnels and complete tunnel fit out. The work on site started in June 2001.

The overall project budget is €752 million. This is the total of the construction tender, €448 million, and €304 million for project costs including construction supervision, land acquisition, insurances, legal fees, EIS and pre-planning investigations, etc.

Benefits to Dublin City

  • Create a high quality link from Dublin Port to the M50 in
    six minutes.
  • Dramatically reduce the number of Heavy Goods Vehicles in the city.
  • Aid improvement of public transport, pedestrian and cycle facilities in Dublin City.
  • Reduce traffic congestion and promote safer streets in residential areas.
  • Reduce noise in Dublin City.
  • Improve air quality.
  • Facilitate the continued development of Dublin Port.

More in this section

  • Dublin Tunnel Toll Domain Statement (403k PDF)
  • Building the Tunnel
    There are numerous and varied methods employed in the construction of the Tunnel not least the detailed Traffic Management Plan devised before construction commenced.
  • Photo Gallery
    The photo gallery tells the construction of the Tunnel in pictures.
  • Interesting Facts
    The Project employed 5,000 people over the course of its construction delivering 7.5 million man hours. It is the longest road Tunnel in an urban area in Europe.
  • Development Team
    Since construction began in June 2001, 5,000 people have worked on the Project. Learn more about the Project Team or check for your name in the list of workers.
  • Environmental Impact and Responsibilities
    There were two Environmental Impact statements. The first in July 1996, resulted in the portals being moved out along the M1 by 1.2 km and the deepening of the Tunnel alignment through Marino. These major changes required a new EIS. Summary EIS attached, for more detailed information contact us at dpt@dublincity.ie.