Plans for a tunnel under the River Lee are an essential part of the future transport infrastructure for Cork.

It is unlikely that the plan for the River Lee tunnel will come to fruition before the end of the decade. Under the current national economic pressures, it is difficult to see where the money for the project will come from. However, county councillors are hopeful.

Minister for the Environment Peter Barry will come under pressure to give the tunnel the go ahead. Cork Corporation believes that even if the minister does not approve the project, the money will be obtained from the EEC.

At 1980s prices, it is estimated the cost of constructing the tunnel would be £25 million. However, it is difficult to estimate how much it would cost by the time of completion. The plan is that cars will be charged a toll of 40 pence to use the tunnel. Local authorities believe that the tunnel would benefit the area by £3.5 million annually.

The tunnel was chosen in preference to a bridge to avoid interference with navigation on the Lee.

The tunnel will link Dunkettle and Ringmahon Point at Blackrock to help solve Cork city traffic chaos. There is already a natural gas pipeline under water at Blackrock

Cork City Council Manager Joe McHugh is confident that the project will get financial support.

We have chosen the best and cheapest crossing.

Joe McHugh says that the great danger with delaying these projects is that prices will only increase.

Mr O'Dowd of Cork City Council shares Joe McHugh's confidence that the project will get government approval. He says that the tunnel is an essential part of the transport policy for the region.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 22 January 1982. The reporter is Tom MacSweeney.