A new Luas bridge is to be used to ease traffic disruption in Dublin city centre during the construction of the Metro North and the interconnector.

Dublin City Council's Director of Traffic Michael Philips said the bridge to be built for Luas line BX is 'urgently needed' to keep buses moving when works start in 2010.

He said an implementation group has been set up using engineers who worked on the Port Tunnel to oversee works by the Rail Procurement Agency and Iarnród Eireann.

Mr Philips said they will advise on construction methods which he said is an evolving situation and will see St Stephen's Green become 'Grand Central Station'.

He said business groups are worried about the five years of disruption they face because of their experience during the last Luas works which only lasted 18 months.

Mr Philips confirmed to a meeting of the council's transport committee this evening that construction of a bridge for Luas BX linking Hawkins Street on the southside with Hawkins Street on the northside will go ahead.

It is planned to have it ready when the dig starts for a new Metro North station on O'Connell bridge.

But apart from enabling works construction of the Luas BX which will link the Red and Green lines will not begin until the metro is completed in 2013.

Mr Philips said the council are working with the utility companies to warn them that major works on gas, water and electricity lines will not be possible for five years after transport works start.

It was confirmed to councillors that private cars face bans or restrictions in College Green, Westmoreland St and O'Connell St.
And that work on the Arnotts development will be going on at the same time as metro and interconnector works.