National Primary Route 28

Status : Approved for construction - pre-construction underway

M28 Motorway Logo


Will open : 2030

Motorway : 0 km (10.5 km by 2030)
Single Carriageway : 12.5 km (1.5 km by 2030)

Winding its way through southeast Cork city, the N28 is a modest rural road trying to play it big. It connects the Cork Southern Ring Road, N40, to the port of Ringaskiddy, a terminus that plays a major part in Ireland's pharmaceutical industry. Over the years, the road has come under increasing pressure from lorry traffic generated by the port, as well as suburban development along both sides.

In the coming years, this freight traffic will increase dramatically, as in May 2015 permission was granted by An Bord Pleanala to allow the port of Cork at Tivoli docks to move to an expanded Ringaskiddy. The new location is further out in the estuary and so is more easily accessible by large container ships. The first phase of this move will be completed by 2018.

In the summer of 2014, it was announced on this site that the N28 had been recently designated by the EU a Trans-European Network route, which would require it to be upgraded and make it eligible for funding for improvements. It was not confirmed at the time whether it would be improved to motorway standard - but at the end of 2015, this was confirmed, with the official launch of a new scheme. There would be a short section of new single carriageway convering the last mile to the port, where a Motorway Services Area would be provided. A map illustrating all this is below.

Construction of this motorway is scheduled for 2021 and should be completed by 2024.

Update 12/07/2019: A planning decision from An Bord Pleanala is due in Q3 of this year.

Update 22/11/2020: This scheme has had repeated legal actions taken against by a local residents' group, the M28 Steering Group. Previously, in December 2019, they challenged the planning permission it had been given by An Bord Pleanala in June 2018.
Now, they have been refused permission to bring the High Courts decision to the Court of Appeal. They have stated their intention to petition the Supreme Court to hear their case, but the legal bar for such a hearing is very high. Observers are guessing the project is probably clear to proceed now.

Update 04/03/2021: The way has been cleared for construction of this project to proceed, according to the Examiner. The final cases have come to an end and leave to appeal further has been denied. The project is due to get underway in 2024:

"Supporters of the motorway say the project will ignite new economic and industrial life in the region by unlocking a major IDA landbank in the area and supporting the Port of Cork's move downriver to Ringaskiddy.

Land acquisitions and preparatory works are expected to take three years before the bigger project of the motorway itself begins in 2024. If the planned timeline for construction is then adhered to, the M28 would open in 2027.

The M28 Steering Group, which claims to represent over 10,000 residents in the Maryborough Hill, Rochestown, Carrs Hill, Bloomfield, Mount Oval, Clarke's Hill, and general Douglas area, wanted alternative plans drawn up that would cause less disruption to their daily lives."

Update 27/03/2022: Here's a great drone update covering The Port - Carr's Hill, confusingly labelled 3rd April 2022. There is a lot of topsoil strip, probably for archaeology or testing ground conditions. Looks like a lot of pylons will need to be moved.

Update 30/06/2022: A new video showing site preparation for the M28 Ringaskiddy Motorway has been released. It shows significant topsoil strip in the first 30 seconds followed by archaeological test trenches. The latter are dug in order to see if any ancient artifacts or structures can be found under the ground.
At 2:09 the future road will pass between a new housing development and a roundabout north of Carrigaline. The video ends just before the new road will merge into the existing N28 (which will be widened) at Maryborough Ridge.
Main construction will start in 2024.

Update 07/10/2022: A wondrous drone video of this project shows the archaeology work that has taken place along the route - the digging of test trenches and completion of fencing and moving of utilities. The scheme is on track to start construction in 2024.

Update 10/07/2023: The latest update is as follows.
- Prequalification of contractors will commence in August.
- Construction is due to commence in Q4 2024, subject to PSC Gate 3 and Cabinet approval.
It should be noted that with a Green Minister for Transport who has made it very clear that he is opposed to large road projects, getting the project through gates may be more difficult than usual. Watch this space.

Update 16/09/2023: This was missed a few months ago but the PIN (Prior Information Notice) for this project was published in June. Here is a link to the PIN. These alert the construction industry to the upcoming tender so that they can assess it for suitability and prepare a response when the actual tender is issued. Pre-qualification of contractors should commence soon. Thankfully it looks like we are still on track for a 2024 Q4 start date for the main works.

Update 24/09/2023: The project has been confirmed as starting in early 2025 but not finishing until 2030. This build time is implausibly long unless they are intentionally stretching this project out, or there is messy traffic management involved. However the Dunkettle interchange is messy too and will only be a 3 1/4-year build when done.

Update 01/12/2023: The latest video on the M28 shows the advanced site preparation that is taking place. A contract has been signed for stages 5-7 of the project which covers tender documents, procurement, construction, and close out.

Update 27/02/2024: Road grant allocations for 2024 have been announced. TII has put out the project status update as of February 2024. The M28 Cork-Ringaskiddy motorway will start by the end of the year. Major enabling works are continuing apace.

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Wikipedia page on this road

Pictures of this road (none yet)

Traffic Counts for this road
2014: 23378 vehicles per day, of which 2.7% are HGVs (freight)
2013: 23024, 3% HGVs


Origin N40 south of Cork City
Terminates Ringsaskiddy port, Cork
Places Served Cork, Mount Oval, Maryborough, Carrigaline, Ringaskiddy
Routes Spawned None
Intersects N40


Section km Opening Date Standard
M28 Cork to Ringaskiddy 10.5 2030 M
M28 Cork to Ringaskiddy 1.5 2030 SC
Ringaskiddy Motorway Services Area MSA

MAP OF M28 :