Lewis Feely

Lewis Feely

Transport Infrastructure Ireland


The M50 Traffic Flow Optimisation (MTFO) project was designed to protect the capacity of the M50 motorway, improve safety and alleviate congestion.

It consisted of the large-scale deployment of intelligent transport system (ITS) technologies and associated civil infrastructure to manage the flow of traffic and improve reliability in journey times along the M50.

The project forms part of the wider enhancing Motorway Operation Services (eMOS) programme and was developed in response to the 2014 M50 Demand Management Study.

It was delivered under three separate sub-projects:

  1. MTFO Jn 3 to Jn 14 Civils
  2. MTFO Jn 14 to M11 Civils
  3. MTFO ITS Deployment Contract (Jn 3 to M11)


In 2017, Roughan and O’Donovan-AECOM (ROD-AECOM) joint venture was awarded the contract to provide technical consultancy services to Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) for M50 Variable Speed Limits (VSL) and associated services, including the duties of designer and Project Supervisor for the Design Process (PSDP).

At the core of the contract was delivery of the M50 Traffic Flow Optimisation (MTFO) project to operate VSL via the deployment of overhead lane control signals and supporting ITS equipment.

Delivered across three contracts, the works included the:

  • upgrade of 87 existing gantries and associated ITS sites
  • erection of 34 new ITS gantries, including associated access bays, cabinets, and power and communications infrastructure
  • deployment of almost 600 new pieces of ITS equipment along the length of the M50 motorway

ROD-AECOM delivered the planning and design for the upgrade civils works, the retrofit of 253 mounting frames onto existing gantries, the design for the new full-span, half-span, and cantilever gantries, and site supervision.

The scope included:

  • a business case introducing journey time reliability as a benefit for the first time
  • a fibre optic/ducting strategy to accommodate current and future needs
  • management of the procurement process


  • The project was delivered safely without a reportable incident adjacent to / over a high-speed motorway with an Annual Average Daily Traffic Data (AADT) of 150,000
  • The procurement strategy successfully achieved the optimum distribution of risk between contracting parties through the sub-division of MTFO into three separate sub-projects
  • The development of a multi-phased (16 nr.) programme implemented the controls required to coordinate multiple contractors
  • The programme was sequenced in a manner that minimised disruption to road users and contractual delays
  • The programme proved sufficiently agile to manage cross-project dependencies and the impact of external risks, including Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic
  • The project’s broader impact on traffic management and incident response will not only enhance operational efficiency but contribute to overall road safety and traffic flow

The project required a collaborative and coordinated multidisciplinary effort across multiple organisations.


  • ROD-AECOM had considerable engagement with stakeholders, including the Department of Transport, An Garda Síochána, Dublin Fire Brigade, and the M50 PPP concessionaire. As part of this, signal sequencing rules were established to support an incident management and regulatory framework developed specifically for the Irish road network
  • As the first deployment of its kind in Ireland, it was important to increase awareness of the VSL deployment amongst road users and promote the adoption of good driver behaviours. As such, ROD-AECOM developed a communication strategy for the scheme and supported TII in managing its implementation
  • With the variety of specialists involved and the cross-project dependencies, our team had the challenging task of managing the extensive and highly technical skill balance, with inputs coordinated by an integration team and in accordance with the interface and integration strategy. This approach fostered a collaborative team effort, which contributed to effective risk management and decision making


  • Deployment of 500+ pieces of ITS technologies onto new, upgraded, and existing infrastructure across 40km of Ireland’s busiest motorway represented a significant challenge in terms of scale, complexity, and novelty

Services provided:

  • Planning
  • Design
  • Procurement
  • Construction supervision

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