Total cost of North Quays Public Infrastructure Project €207.5 million - includes an Integrated Transportation Hub, Sustainable Transport Bridge & new access roads and bridges
Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has said the news that cabinet has signed off on the final business case for the North Quays project is momentous and represents a watershed day for Waterford and the entire South-East region. He described the €170 million investment by government in the public infrastructure project as one of the biggest votes of confidence in Waterford in living memory.
Senator Cummins said “Today is a momentous day for Waterford and the entire South-East region. I believe it marks a very significant turning point in the history of Waterford. This investment will unlock the potential that we know exists with the North Quays site and when the project is delivered it will redefine Waterford city and help us compete on a level playing pitch with our peer cities. Today marks the official green light on the biggest regeneration project in the country”.
“The decision by cabinet will enable Waterford City and County Council to appoint a contractor for the main public works contract which consists of three main elements, the integrated transport hub which includes the relocation of Plunkett Station, the construction of a new sustainable transport bridge over the River Suir and the construction of new access roads and bridges on to the North Quays site. A fourth element, improvements to the Kilkenny access roads, is also part of the overall project, however it is not part of this funding envelope and will be dealt with via a different approval process through URDF when it is ready to progress.”
He added “Waterford City and County Council have completed a very significant tendering process for this public works contract which begun last year. The important message here is despite significant cost inflation, government is continuing to back this major project because it stacks up from a cost benefit perspective and will have a lasting impact on Waterford. We are going to see a major increase in construction activity in Waterford arising from this public infrastructure contract and private sector investment with up to 1100 direct and indirect jobs per year being sustained during the 3 -5 years construction phase.
Senator Cummins said he expected to see the main contractor assembling on site in the New Year. “Following the appointment of the contractor, it is expected construction teams will commence the main contract early in the New Year and the build will take approximately three and a half years to complete. It is envisaged that the first phase of private development consisting of a hotel and conference space, retail development, flagship food experience, an office block and approximately 300 apartments will be developed in parallel with the delivery of the infrastructure works and arrangements are being finalised with the developer and the Irish Strategic Investment Fund in this regard with design teams appointed.
Senator Cummins concluded by saying “Many people have written off this project from the outset and dismissed the many milestones which have been hit along the way such as the designation of the site as an SDZ, the purchasing of various parcels of land, confirming acquisitions through the CPO process, demolition of the flour mills and the clearing of several other structures and the commencement of rock face stabilisation and south quays enabling works, both of which are underway. All these elements have contributed to getting us to this point and I want to thank everyone who has stuck with the project and believed in its ability to transform Waterford for the better. While it has taken longer than expected to get to this point, I knew deep down we would get there, and I am excited about the project and Waterford’s bright future”.