Work will begin on Dublin’s new Luas BXD line in May next year.
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar announced that the €370 million project, which will link the existing red and green tram lines, would go ahead after Cabinet discussed the project’s updated business plan.
Varadkar would now ask the National Transport Authority (NTA) and the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) to prepare for work to start in May 2013.
“This is an important step for the Luas BXD project, which will link up the existing Luas lines and give Dublin an integrated commuter rail network for the first time. Cabinet has discussed the business plan for Luas BXD, and I have now asked the NTA and RPA to proceed with the procurement and contractual arrangements which are necessary to allow the project to proceed in 2013,” Varadkar said.
“The two Luas lines should have been joined up years ago. It’s a privilege for me as Minister for Transport to be able to finish the job,” he said.
Luas BXD is expected to create 800 jobs during the construction phase, with a further 60 permanent jobs.
The first stage of construction – the pre-construction enabling works – is due to start in May next year, with the main construction works starting in 2015. The project is scheduled to be completed in late 2017.
The Department of Transport said every effort would be made to minimise the impact of construction works on the business community, road users, pedestrians, and residents in the city centre area. An initial working group comprising the RPA, NTA and Dublin City Council had been established to develop traffic management arrangements during the construction phase, it said.