Kinsale Road Roundabout
Coordinates: The Kinsale Road Roundabout (Irish: Timpeall Bóthair Chionn tSáile), colloquially designated 'The Magic Roundabout', is a five-arm signalised roundabout located approximately 3km south of Cork city centre in Ireland at the junction of the N40 South Ring Road and the N27 South City Link/Airport Road.
The South Ring Road has been constructed on a phased basis since the late 1980s. With the completion of the downstream crossing of the River Lee, the Jack Lynch Tunnel, there was a marked increase in traffic using the road which in turn led to increased delays at the Kinsale Road Roundabout. The South Ring Road is currently a dual-carriageway with a number of at-grade and grade-separated interchanges located along its length.
Recent traffic counts have shown that there are in excess of 85,000 vehicles using the roundabout daily. The straight-through movement between the east and west sides of the South Ring Road was the highest recorded traffic movement at the roundabout and represented approximately 40% of the total traffic using the roundabout. As such, there was an urgent need for grade separation.
In the determination of a preferred scheme solution a number of options were developed and evaluated in terms of environmental impact, safety, constructibility, cost, aesthetics, disruption to traffic during construction and land take. These options included:
- A flyover carrying the N40 South Ring Road over the existing roundabout
- An underpass carrying the N40 South Ring Road under the existing roundabout
- A flyover carrying the N27 Airport Road/South Link Road over the roundabout
- An underpass carrying the N27 Airport Road/South Link Road under the roundabout
Having compared and evaluated the four options it was considered that a flyover carrying the N40 South Ring Road over the existing roundabout was the most suitable solution.
Construction on the flyover started in mid-2005 and finished in late 2006. Effective traffic management throughout the duration of the project was vital as the same volume of vehicles used the roundabout during construction as they did before construction. From public opinion, traffic management was put in place effectively and major delays were rare.
Upgrade of nearby junctions
The Bandon Road Roundabout and Sarsfield Road Roundabout are located a few kilometres to the west of the Kinsale Road Roundabout. Both roundabouts underwent grade separation works together owing to their proximity to each other. This has resulted in a non-stop continuous dual-carriageway between the area west of Ballincollig to the Dunkettle Interchange near the north portal of the Jack Lynch Tunnel.
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