While it has been recognised that there is a need for a crossing for the River Lee in Cork City, the debate remains whether this should be a tunnel or a bridge.

Cork City Council has told a public inquiry that a tunnel must be built under the River Lee to solve the serious traffic congestion currently facing the city. However, National Toll Roads, the company which built Dublin's East and West Link bridges, has challenged this and says that it can build a bridge across the river at a much lesser expense. 

The inquiry had begun five years previously and at that time was told that the new river crossing should be tunnel. The tunnel would link the roads around Cork thereby taking traffic out of the city centre. 

Speaking in Cork the day previous the Taoiseach Charles Haughey addressed a crowd at Ringaskiddy saying,

The government are fully committed to this access facility and providing the right kind of crossing as soon as possible on a cost effective basis.  

The Cork Examiner interpreted the Taoiseach's commitment as meaning a bridge.

The Jack Lynch Tunnel finally opened in May 1999.

An RTÉ News report by Tom MacSweeney broadcast on 24 July 1990.