The upgraded Dunkettle Interchange just outside Cork City has officially been opened by Tánaiste Micheál Martin.
The extensive project, approximately 5km outside Cork City, sought to ease congestion and streamline traffic flow in the area.
The €215 million scheme involved the delivery of 18 new road links, totalling 10km in length, and seven new bridges, as well as upgrades and resurfacing to surrounding roads.
The interchange marks the junction of four national routes, including the M8 Cork-Dublin motorway.
Planning permission for the project was first received in 2013, and works began with archaeological and ground investigations in 2016 before the main construction got underway in 2020.
According to figures from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), journey times during peak hours have fallen by 50 per cent due to the road upgrade, despite increasing traffic volumes.
Speaking at the opening of the scheme on Monday morning, Mr Martin said the project “represents a significant investment in Cork’s future and provides a vital link in the region’s transport network”.
“I believe that it will be a catalyst for enhancing economic and social activity right across Cork and the entire Munster region,” the Tánaiste added.
TII chief executive Peter Walsh said the project has been “10 years in the making”, adding: “It was delivered through innovation and commitment by the entire project team and with the support and patience of the public.”
The scheme will now enter a three-year maintenance period, during which time environmental and traffic flow monitoring will be carried out.