In the 12 months since the first sod was turned on the Waterford North Quays Public Infrastructure Project by then Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, BAM Ireland has made considerable progress on the construction of the infrastructure required to enable the development of the North Quays strategic development zone (SDZ) site. 

This has been made possible by the significant advanced works contracts developed by the client’s team to de-risk the project and reduce the level of traffic disruption in Waterford city during the main contract works.

Advanced work contracts

Eight advanced works contracts, with a total construction value of circa €17m, were procured. The contracts comprised demolition; utilities diversions at the most congested locations along the city’s Dock Road and Meagher’s Quay; site works, such as the stabilisation of 400m of railway rock cutting at Plunkett Railway Station (construction value €4m) and a foul and surface water pumping station at Ferrybank (construction value €7m). 

Enabling works commenced in mid-2020, with the final and most substantial element, the pumping station, completed in May 2024, giving full control of the site to BAM until project completion circa Q2 2026. 

Main contract works

With the first year of the three-year build programme now complete, work has begun on all elements of the main contract works. Construction activity stretches along the full 1km length of the northern front of the eight-hectare North Quays SDZ site in Ferrybank and across the adjoining 200m wide expanse of the River Suir and adjacent southern quays, where the major river crossing will connect to the city at Meagher’s Quay.

Dual carriageway and local road upgrades

1.3km of urban dual carriageway and local road upgrades on Dock Road and Abbey Road have progressed, with traffic lane reconfiguration works on the Dock Road westbound carriageway ongoing along with the significant earthworks required to the realigned Abbey Road. Construction works is ongoing on two greenway underpasses, two railway overbridges at both the east and west SDZ site access points and the 500m of retaining wall structures required along the realigned Abbey Road. 

Extensive traffic management coordination is required to facilitate the high traffic volumes on the local road network (Dock Road AADT 16,000 vehicles) and the ongoing construction to ensure continued access to the Bus Éireann depot and businesses and education facilities in the area. This section of the works is expected to be completed in mid-2025.

Transport hub

The substructure for the major multimodal, sustainable transport interchange hub that is central to the northern edge of the SDZ site is now complete. Works are ongoing to complete the superstructure, which includes a train station building, two railway pedestrian overbridges at either end of the hub and 200m long platforms on either side a new twin-track railway configuration through the new station.

The completion of this major piece of public infrastructure is anticipated in Q4 2025, with commissioning of the station expected in 2026.

Sustainable Transport Bridge

The substructure for the Sustainable Transport Bridge, a 207m long pedestrian and cycle opening (bascule) bridge across the River Suir, is nearing completion. The piles for each of the six in-river pier and abutment supports have been installed, and works are ongoing on the concrete pile caps, piers and abutments. Fabrication of the steel superstructure is progressing offsite at Victor Buyck Steel Construction’s yard in Ghent, Belgium. The majority of the steelwork deck is now complete, and preparations are underway for painting and installation of the bridge movable span mechanical, electrical and control components. 

The erection on the completed superstructure is anticipated to take place in Q1 2025, following the transportation of the bridge by sea-going barge from Ghent via the English Channel and Irish Sea.

Public plaza

The 5,000m2 public plaza on the southern approach to the bridge is well progressed, with the new 100m long sheet pile wall installed, and the pile supported slab required to support the plaza construction ongoing. Works will be ongoing in 2024, with completion anticipated in mid-2025.


Flood defences

The 2.1km of flood defences required to future-proof both the new and the existing public infrastructure on the north side of Waterford along the railway boundary at the SDZ and west of Plunkett station have progressed with the installation of the required 300m section of sheet pile wall in the vicinity of the interchange hub. 

The planned flood defences are made up of a further 1.45km of sheet pile wall flood defence and remedial works to the existing quay walls over a 350m length of railway corridor, trackside drainage works and two pumping station. These works are due to commence in Q3 2024 and will enable the completion of planned Irish Rail track and SET (Signal, Electrical and Telecoms) upgrade works into the new station. They are expected to be completed in Q3 2025. 


Sustainable urban regeneration opens up cities in the most positive way, providing immense opportunities and possibilities to those who live and work there. This project will change the way people view Waterford city, with improved, high-quality transport infrastructure, as well as pedestrian and cycling facilities, making it easier for people to navigate the city. It will also unlock the growth potential of the city through the development of office space, residential, retail and hotel accommodation on the SDZ site. 

The works represent one of the largest ever investments in Waterford and the southeast region, with a total public investment of €207m, including €100m of Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) funding and a further €70m from the Department of Transport through the National Transport Authority (NTA). 


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