A new bridge across the River Liffey forms part of a plan for the third and final phase of the development of Dublin Port.

The 3FM Project, which is being launched by the Dublin Port Company today, is expected to deliver a fifth of the port capacity required by 2040.

The development - which is expected to cost up to €400m at today's construction prices - will be located on the Poolbeg Peninsula in the east of the city.

As it currently stands, the plan will see the development of a new private road called the Southern Port Access Route (SPAR) to link the north and south port areas.

The idea is to take Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) off the public road via a new bridge across the River Liffey immediately east of the Tom Clarke Bridge - commonly known as the East-Link Toll Bridge.

This, the plans says, will give pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users a less congested route for active travel across the city.

Construction is scheduled to commence in 2026 and is expected to be completed between 2030 and 2035.

Comments and queries sought

The overall project is currently at the pre-planning stage and the Port Company will lodge a planning application with An Bord Pleanála in early 2023.

Between now and then, the company will prepare the detailed project design and environmental impact reports required for large infrastructure projects.

Dublin Port Company is inviting people to submit comments and queries on any aspect of the project.

The proposed project will also involve the construction of a large container terminal in front of the ESB's Poolbeg Power Station with an annual throughput capacity of 360,000 containers.

A 325 metre diameter ship turning circle is also to be created in front of Pigeon House Harbour as well as the development of over 15 acres of new public parks in three locations on the Poolbeg Peninsula.

"There is very little spare capacity for future growth of unitised trade in Dublin Port or in any other port in the country," Dublin Port's chief executive Eamonn O’Reilly said.

"Planning for long-term needs as far out as 2040 is very difficult and it is important for us in Dublin Port to plan early to ensure that we are ready to construct nationally essential port capacity in advance of demand."

Mr O'Reilly said the Port development was based on Masterplan 2040 which is being rolled out at an overall estimated cost of €1.6 billion over the 30 years from 2010 to 2040.

"Port infrastructure is very expensive and, by the end of this year, we will have invested €500m in the 11 years since 2010.

"Over the next five years, we will invest a further €450m. We aim to begin to build the €400m 3FM Project in 2026 and to complete it between 2030 and 2035," he explained.

Observations and comments can be submitted to 3fm@dublinport.ie by 31st December 2021.

Details of the project are now available to view online at www.dublinport3fm.ie.