M8 Culahill to Cashel Co.Tipperary

M8 Culahill to Cashel Co.Tipperary

M8 Culahill to Cashel Co.Tipperary

Client : Kilkenny County Council

Value : €204m

The M8 Cullahill to Cashel road improvement scheme is a significant part of the major inter-urban route between Dublin and Cork. The scheme is 40km long and consists of four grade separated junctions linking it to the national road networks and to Cashel, Thurles, Urlingford, Johnstown, and Kilkenny.

The road opened seven months ahead of schedule.

Construction facts:

  • Length of main carriageway: 40 km
  • Length of ancillary roads: 11 km
  • Interchanges (4): Cashel, Horse & Jockey, Twomileborris and Urlingford
  • Structures: (78)
    • 21 road overbridges
    • 4 road underbridges
    • 1 Bord Na Mona rail bridge
    • 7 river bridges
    • 3 accommodation overbridges
    • 9 accommodation underpasses
    • 33 significant stream/river culverts
  • Earthworks:
    • Bulk cut:4.3 million cubic metres
    • Bulk fill:3.0 million cubic metres
  • CBM sub-base and base laid: 670,000 tonnes
  • Bituminous surfacing laid: 470,000 tonnes
  • Structural concrete: 20,500 cubic metres
  • Trees and shrubs planted: 1 million

Protecting the environment and providing mitigation to minimise the effects of the motorway on the surrounding countryside were important considerations in the development of the scheme. Extensive landscaping has been carried out to screen properties from the route and to help blend the scheme into the surrounding landscape. To minimise the impact of road traffic noise bunds and barriers have been erected at certain locations along the route.

All the road drainage is attenuated to green field run off levels and the design incorporates measures to protect watercourses and aquifers from pollution.

To protect wildlife, badger and otter passes were constructed under the motorway and substantial lengths of badger and otter proof fencing were erected to guide the animals to the underpasses and prevent them from entering the motorway.

An artificial sandmartin nesting site was constructed on the banks of the River Goul to replace an existing site on the opposite side of the motorway.

To minimise impact on archaeological sites and monuments extensive test excavations were undertaken. This testing led to the subsequent detailed investigation of 46 sites including settlements, burial and industrial remains which ranged in date from the Bronze Age to the 19th century.

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