The massive project, which was located around 5 km outside of Cork City, aimed to reduce traffic congestion and improve local traffic flow.
The €215 million project included the construction of seven new bridges, eight new road linkages totalling 10 km in length, as well as repairs and resurfacing of nearby highways.
Four national highways come together at the intersection, one of which being the M8 Cork-Dublin motorway.
The project was first granted planning clearance in 2013, and before the major building started in 2020, work on the site and conducted archaeological and ground studies in 2016.
Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) statistics show that even with increased traffic loads, the road renovation has resulted in a 50% reduction in trip times during peak hours.
Mr. Martin stated that the project “represents a significant investment in Cork’s future and provides a vital link in the region’s transport network” during the scheme’s launch on Monday morning.
“I believe that it will be a catalyst for enhancing economic and social activity right across Cork and the entire Munster region,” the minister said.
The project has been “ten years in the making,” according to TII CEO Peter Walsh, who also noted that “the public’s support and patience, along with the entire project team’s innovation and commitment, allowed it to be delivered.”
The programme will now go into a three-year maintenance phase when monitoring of the environment and traffic flow will be done.