The Northern Cross Route of the M50 is officially opened.
The £70 million Northern Cross Route is 11 kilometres long and links the existing motorway C ring (M50) from the interchange at the Navan Road to the Airport Motorway (Ml). It brings the M50 to 22 kilometres in length.
The third leg of the The C ring, the Southern Cross Route is expected to begin construction in late 1997 forming the final link with the N11 heading south/east.
At the Northern Cross opening ceremony, Minister for the Environment Brendan Howlin considers the route,
An important part of the overall transport strategy for the city of Dublin and for the country.
The Northern Cross should make a huge difference to people who want to switch from one primary route to another as well as those from the country who want to get to and from Dublin Airport.
Chief Executive of the National Roads Authority Michael Tobin explains this benefits motorists as,
They can get onto the ring and go to any of the other National Primaries they want if they need to avoid the city centre.
The Northern Cross Route is one of the biggest road projects ever undertaken in Ireland and a major engineering achievement. Over 30,000 vehicles are expected to use the Northern Cross every day, taking traffic out of suburbs such as Blanchardstown, Finglas and Ballymun When the entire C ring is complete there should be virtually no need for motorists to cross through the city centre to get to the other side.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 6 December 1996. The reporter is Carole Coleman.