04 June 2006

Excavation for underground station will affect park for up to three years

Sunday Business Post

By Pat Leahy
04 June 2006

A large part of St Stephen’s Green in Dublin will be closed to allow the building of an underground rail station.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usMost of the park is likely to be excavated and construction will continue for two to three years, as part of the building of the new metro and rail network. The Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) is in negotiations with Dublin City Council, the Office of Public Works and Irish Rail about the routing of the proposed metro – which will run to the airport – and the Heuston-Docklands underground railway. They will both run through the underground station at St Stephen’s Green.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Transport said that the metro proposals, including the St Stephen’s Green plan, would be put to the Minister for Transport, Martin Cullen, ‘‘after the summer’’.

The St Stephen’s Green station is a key part of the €34.4 billion Transport 21 plan announced by the minister last year.

At the time, Cullen said that the station would be completed by 2009, although several sources said that the deadline was optimistic. A spokesman for the RPA said that discussions were continuing as to where ‘‘within the Green’’ the new station would be located.

‘‘There’ll be an engineering logic to the location,” he said. ‘‘Some of the park will be closed, there’s no doubt about that. I don’t think all of it will be closed.”

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