Archived News

    Major Urban Interchange managed by RPS Opening Ahead of Time

    18 November 2014

    Major Urban Interchange managed by RPS Opening Ahead of Time


    Newlands Cross free flow junction on the Dublin/Cork road which was scheduled to open in Spring 2015 is now due to open to traffic this week.

    1D2O6851 Photo:Peter Barrow, 2nd October 2014

    This is the last lights-controlled junction between the Northern Ireland Border to Dunkettle roundabout in Co. Cork. The N7 on average carries 90,000 people daily making it the second busiest road in the Republic of Ireland aside from the M50 orbital motorway which carries an estimate of 110,000 people. The design of this new junction has three lanes in each direction and will reduce the journey time for commuters coming from Kildare and beyond.

    The flyover has a two-span bridge structure with extensive embankments on the east and west sides of the junction. The materials used for the embankments were all sourced locally and environmentally friendly cement was used to reduce CO2 emissions.

    RPS Win Two Awards at Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards.

    18 November 2014

    RPS Win Two Awards at Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards.


    On Friday night the Four Seasons Hotel Dublin held the Annual Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards. Each year the awards showcase the very best of Irish Engineering. This year RPS was shortlisted in four categories:

    Volunteer of the Year – Cormac Bradley

    Ballymore Eustace Water Treatment Plant – Engineering Project of the Year

    Congratulations to Cormac Bradley and Carlow Flood Alleviation Project on receiving two awards. Cormac who won Volunteer of the Year has worked extensively with Engineers Ireland and was heavily involved on the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations. The Carlow Flood Alleviation Project which won the Protecting the Built Environment not only protects the Built Environment but the works have provided an added benefit to the town by regenerating areas and improving the public's association with the town's river.

    Pictured: PJ Rudden RPS, Tom Barry CEO Carlow Co. Council, Dan McInerney Director of Environment, Carlow Co. Council, Gavin O' Dononvan RPS, Gerry Carty RPS and Cormac Bradley RPS and Engineers Ireland Volunteer of the year.

    Congratulations to the RPS BIM and Ballymore Eustace teams who were also shortlisted for the awards. Competition in these categories was stiff and being shortlisted for these two awards conveys the high standards that were achieved within both of these projects.

    Government approves and publishes RPS report on Producer Responsibility for Packaging and other Priority Wastes.

    22 July 2014

    Government approves and publishes RPS report on Producer Responsibility for Packaging and other Priority Wastes.


    Phil Hogan, outgoing Minister for Environment and now EU Commissioner Designate has announced the publication of the RPS led report on the Waste Producer Responsibility Initiative (PRI) model in Ireland. This report reviews the current ‘producer responsibility initiatives’ for various priority waste streams like packaging, electric waste, waste batteries, farm plastics, waste tyres and end of life vehicles.

    “This comprehensive report is the first to provide a detailed and robust scrutiny of the process whereby producers take responsibility for the products they place on the market at their end of life. Accordingly, I am pleased to note the report’s key finding that the producer responsibility model in Ireland has operated successfully and has succeeded in meeting the majority of our domestic and European Waste Targets” stated Minister Hogan.

    The report highlights challenges that need to be overcome, particularly in the area of waste tyres and end of life vehicles. The Minister addressed this issue by giving priority to certain reports ensuring that they would be completed ahead of the main report. Minister Hogan established working groups within the Tyres and ELV sectors where he has observed progress being made.

    Commenting on the report he noted that it is “an in-depth study of an area where there are many complex topics and issues which are shared by a number of economic operators who are involved in producer responsibility. This report will have positive affects for the stakeholders within the sector – including producers, the compliance schemes, local authorities, regulatory authorities and the general public who have shown their strong support for the recycling in Ireland. These recommendations will bring regulatory clarity to many aspects of the sector, will make the structure clearer, with less administrative burden while also importantly contributing to Ireland continuing to reach our environmental goals.”

    Within the report there are approximately 170 recommendations, some include:

    • A mandate for the Producer Responsibility Organisations (PRO’s) to collaborate with one another or the EPA with a view to launching cross stream education and awareness initiatives.

    • Establishment of a dedicated PRI enforcement unit or centre of excellence in line with the roll-out of new local authority enforcement structures. The unit would be set up to facilitate the concentration of specialised expertise at national and regional levels, facilitating the coordination of PRI enforcement activities and the tackling of transboundary illegal activities.

    • PROs to develop proposals for encouraging waste prevention and reuse in line with EU, national and regional policies and programmes.

    • The State to investigate the possibility of instructing the PROs to direct waste to be processed in Ireland using only national waste infrastructure.

    • Reducing administrative costs by limiting duplication in terms of systems and data and facilitating data sharing.

    • The development of a centralised electronic registration system for obligated producers.

    • The report identified other waste streams which might be suitable for development as PRI’s.

    Minister Hogan expressed his gratitude “to all of the stakeholders across the sector that have contributed to this review and offered their input. I am announcing a further period of consultation on this final report which will run until mid-September.”


    1. The review of the Producer Responsibility Initiative commenced in June, 2012 with a public consultation. Four reports were completed in advance of the main report. Details of these reports and their date of publication are:

    • Corporate Governance, July 2013

    • Consideration of a Packaging Levy, September 2013

    • End of Life Vehicles, November 2013

    • Tyres and Waste Tyres, November 2013

    2. The Principal producer responsibility initiatives currently operating in Ireland are:

    • Waste (from) Electrical & Electronic Products (WEEE)

    • Batteries

    • Packaging

    • Tyres

    • End of Life Vehicles (ELV’S)

    • Farm Plastics

    3. Definition of Producer Responsibility

    Extended Producer Responsibility is a concept where manufacturers and importers of products should bear a significant degree of responsibility for the environmental impacts of their products throughout the product life-cycle – including upstream impacts inherent in the selection of materials for the products, impacts from manufacturers’ production process itself and downstream impacts from the use and disposal of the products.

    Producers accept their responsibility when designing their products to minimise life-cycle environmental impacts and when accepting legal, physical or socio-economic responsibility for environmental impacts that cannot be eliminated by design (OECD Definition).

    These comprehensive reports on the Review of the Producer Responsibility Initiatives were produced for the Department of the Environment Community and Local Government by Consultants RPS – in association with the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), Philip Lee Solicitors and BIO by Deloitte.

    Olivier Gaillot:

    Mersey Gateway Bridge reaches Financial Close

    11 July 2014

    Mersey Gateway Bridge reaches Financial Close

    The Mersey Gateway Bridge project is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) project for the design, build, finance, operation and maintenance of a new tolled bridge over the River Mersey in the northwest of England. It is being proposed as an economic driver to regeneration of the Mersey Port area. The project also encompasses the installation and operation of tolling facilities for the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge (SJB).

    The project has now reached financial close for the winning consortium of Macquarie Capital, Germany’s Bilfinger Project Investments Europe and Spain’s FCC. RPS together with Sweett are appointed Technical Advisors to Macquarie Capital to carry out due diligence at various milestone stages prior to release of funding. New Civil Engineer reports this week that the successful consortium offered to build the bridge for $400m less than budgeted by the Government in 2011. The cost of the construction phase of the project is now estimated at $900m.

    The design is based on a cable-stay structure similar to the second Severn Crossing but with three towers. It will be 1km in length across the river and the canals. Three piers in the river will carry the two 300m long outer spans that will cross the naturally occurring deeper water channels of the river at either bank. These will be supported by cable stays attached to towers that rise to 135m above the river bed. The design for the bridge has been selected from a wide range of options. It was chosen because it will bring maximum benefits for users and local people and has a minimal impact on the estuary and its surrounding environment.

    The project is expected to help create thousands of new jobs, secure inward investment to the area and deliver important regeneration benefits. The new bridge will improve public transport links across the River Mersey and encourage the increased use of cycling and walking. The project will be over 70% funded by the private sector and part-funded by the Department for Transport and Halton Borough Council. The project may also qualify for government funding under the UK Guarantee Scheme.


    Tony Magee:
    PJ Rudden:

    RPS delivers Wayfinding for one of the World’s Longest Tourist Drives

    10 July 2014

    RPS delivers Wayfinding for one of the World’s Longest Tourist Drives

    RPS played a significant role in delivering one of the World’s longest tourist drives by developing a new bespoke signage scheme for the route. The Wild Atlantic Way (WAW) is the longest defined and signed tourist driving route in the world stretching over 2,300km of Ireland’s rugged coastline.

    The route traces Ireland’s Atlantic coastline from Kinsale, Co. Cork to Malin Head, Co. Donegal, passing through counties Kerry, Limerick, Clare, Galway, Mayo and Sligo. The drive offers visitors an opportunity to discover the west coast and has 159 discovery points enabling drivers to stop and view the scenery.

    Throughout the development of the route one of the biggest challenges faced by Fáilte Ireland was to deliver an appropriate wayfinding signage scheme to assist visitors navigate the route. RPS’s Traffic Signs Team was commissioned by Fáilte Ireland to address this task and develop a new bespoke signage scheme for the route. The team assisted with:

    • Developing the brand and logo

    • Developing the prototype signs (including consultation with the Department of Transport and the NRA)

    • Designing and delivering a pilot project to test the signage on the ground

    • Developing a comprehensive guidance document for the development of WAW signage plans

    • Designing and installing the WAW signage


    RPS also carried out the detailed design of the signage for the WAW route through Counties Kerry, Limerick, Galway and Sligo.

    Test signs were unveiled on the Dingle Peninsula last summer. Since then awareness of the WAW project has increased through marketing campaigns and media attention and the new signage is being well received.

    Fáilte Ireland are currently developing supporting maps, brochures, interpretative plans, digital content and smart phone apps to enhance the experience for visitors. This is only the beginning as the WAW project will undergo significant development and investment over the next five to ten years in on-route infrastructure to make this new project an international success.


    Rowan O'Callaghan:

    Network Innovation Competition – RPS Providing Technical Services for Robotic Solutions for GB Gas Network

    09 May 2014

    Network Innovation Competition – RPS Providing Technical Services for Robotic Solutions for GB Gas Network

    RPS has been appointed by Scotia Gas Networks (SGN) to act as consultants on their Robotics project. This project was approved by regulator Ofgem as part of the National Gas Network Innovation Competition (NIC). It is an industry leading project that will see RPS partner with SGN and ULC Pipeline Robotics, a US firm that provides research and development on robotic solutions.

    The objective of the project is to develop new robotic technologies that can operate inside a live gas distribution main. This new technology will be capable of internally sealing mechanical joints and Weco seals along with the ability to collect data using sensors for pipe risk analysis.

    This unique project commenced in March 2014 with the project timeline lasting 4 years potentially. It is divided into 4 key elements:

    • Element 1 – Development of a robotic ‘platform’ and launch system to allow the robot to carry out repair and inspection of large distribution pipes.

    • Element 2 – Development of a repair module for repairing mechanical and rubber seals of large distribution pipes.

    • Element 3 – Robotic visual and non-visual inspection.

    • Element 4 – Automated live asset replacement for smaller distribution pipes.


    RPS will provide technical assessments at key milestones in the development of robotic solutions, assessing and carrying out technical reports supporting the development of operational procedures in support of deployment, the analysis and reporting of field trial data throughout deployment.

    The project not only has significant importance to SGN but also to other gas initiatives in Great Britain in terms of:

    • Substantial savings in public disruption on roadways and costs of pavement excavation and reinstatement.

    • Improved risk management of metallic mains from more accurate and convenient pin pointing of leakage from joints on metallic gas mains.

    • Reduction in gas leakage and resulting repair costs, leading to a reduction in SGN’s operating costs including road congestion charging in South London.

    • A lower carbon intensive solution for leakage repairs.

    • Further proof of positive innovation to give “value for money” in the GB gas industry.


    David Phelan:
    PJ Rudden :

    R402 Enfield to Edenderry Road Improvement Project Officially Opened by Transport Minister Leo Varadkar T.D.

    17 April 2014

    R402 Enfield to Edenderry Road Improvement Project Officially Opened by Transport Minister Leo Varadkar T.D.

    The River Erne Bridge in County Cavan has been awarded both the Infrastructure Award and the Overall Award for 2013 at the 32nd Irish Concrete Society Awards held on the 22nd March.
    Pictured at the official opening, RPS staff with Minister Varadkar (l – r): Niamh Fannon, David Cawley, Angela Grady, Minister Leo Varadkar T.D., Peter Thorne, Claire French and Thomas O’Sullivan.

    The R402 Enfield to Edenderry Road Improvement Scheme was officially opened on 14th April 2014 by Leo Varadkar T.D., Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport.

    The €40m project, which included the realignment and improvement of 11km of single carriageway, is an important link road for the region. It links Edenderry in Co. Offaly and Enfield in Co. Meath and provides a high quality access corridor for north Kildare and Offaly to the N4 / M4 for some 4,850 vehicles per day. It replaces a substandard section of regional road that previously had a poor safety record.

    RPS has been involved with the project since 2001 and has completed route selection, Part 8 planning, environmental impact assessment, preliminary design, geotechnical investigations, CPO, Oral Hearing, advance works (fencing & archaeology) and detailed design. We also managed the tender process and are currently fulfilling the Employer’s Representative role for the construction phase.

    Speaking at the official opening, Minister Varadkar said “This improved R402 increases the capacity on this route and also allows for future traffic levels. The high-quality single carriageway will improve journey times and road safety.”

    Angela Grady:

    N3 Belturbet Bypass: River Erne Bridge wins the Infrastructure and the Overall Award of the Irish Concrete Society

    11 April 2014

    N3 Belturbet Bypass: River Erne Bridge wins the Infrastructure and the Overall Award of the Irish Concrete Society

    The River Erne Bridge in County Cavan has been awarded both the Infrastructure Award and the Overall Award for 2013 at the 32nd Irish Concrete Society Awards held on the 22nd March.

    The 150m River Erne Bridge is a three span extrados structure with a 70m main span over the River Erne. The crossing site is part of the Lough Oughter & Associated Loughs Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The design provides both an aesthetically pleasing structure and a very economical use of materials. It also delivers a long clear span across the river, with a relatively shallow deck profile, minimising the environmental and visual impact of the bridge. Extradosed bridges, a cross between a cable stay bridge and an externally prestressed girder bridge, are still relatively uncommon worldwide and the Erne Bridge is the first of this type to be constructed in Ireland. It is now an instantly recognisable and elegant landmark on the N3 route from Dublin to Enniskillen. The jury for the Irish Concrete Society Awards described the bridge as “an exceptional bridge design, beautifully executed with cutting edge engineering design concepts.”

    Christy O’Sullivan, Director, Cian McGuinness, Technical Director and Willie Madden, Regional Director with the Irish Concrete Society Award.

    RPS, led by Christy O’Sullivan, Project Director, acted as Designer’s Site Representative and Technical Advisor on the N3 Belturbet Bypass for the Design-Build contractor Ferrovial Agroman PT McWillams Joint Venture, and undertook the tender and detailed design, environmental design and assessments, supervised and certified the construction of the project.

    The bridge is part of the N3 Butlersbridge to Belturbet project, which was officially opened on 3rd April 2014. The €61m project included 7km of single carriageway and a second large bridge , the 210m long balanced cantilever construction Aghnaguig Bog Bridge (pictured below) crossing a sensitive bog woodland habitat. The road design and environmental work was undertaken by our Galway office, led by Cian McGuinness and the bridge design was delivered from our Cork office by Kieran Ruane and his team.

    The project sets a benchmark for the increasing use of long span bridges to cross sensitive environmental sites, particularly Natura 2000 sites.

    Aghnaguig Bog Bridge
    RPS (represented by Willie Madden and Liam Geoghegan), Design-Build Contractor Ferrovial Agroman and Cavan County Council at the opening of the N3 Butlersbridge to Belturbet Road Improvement Scheme.

    Christy O’Sullivan:
    Cian McGuinness:
    Kieran Ruane:

    RPS providing Technical, Environmental & Waste Consultancy Services for Regional Waste Management Plans

    27 March 2014

    RPS providing Technical, Environmental & Waste Consultancy Services for Regional Waste Management Plans

    RPS has recently been appointed by the local authorities of Ireland to assist and support them in the preparation of Regional Waste Management Plans for three regions covering all of the Republic of Ireland.

    The appointment also includes for the completion of Strategic Environmental Assessment and Appropriate Assessments for each of the plans. These plans are the third generation of regional waste planning documents to be prepared in the state.

    This project marks a significant change for waste management planning in Ireland. Previously the country was divided into ten regional areas with a waste plan setting out a framework for managing wastes within the functional boundaries. A consolidation of the regional structure has reduced to three the waste regions in the state.

    The replacement plans will again provide a framework for the management of wastes within the catchment while also recognising the movement of wastes in the market. Waste moves daily across regional boundaries, throughout the state and increasingly abroad for treatment. The new plans need to reflect the dynamics of the market while planning for sustainable infrastructure identified as a priority. Other important issues which will be addressed include the exporting of residual wastes for energy recovery and the management of household waste.

    This appointment continues RPS’ long term involvement in waste planning in Ireland having previously prepared first generation and second generation plans for many regional authorities.

    The project is expected to last for 12 months with the final Waste Plans and associated environmental documents due to be published by the end of March 2015. The new plans will cover the period 2015 to 2021.

    Warren Phelan:

    Construction Underway on New Hewlett Packard Offices in Galway

    17 February 2014

    Construction Underway on New Hewlett Packard Offices in Galway

    Construction has commenced on Hewlett Packard’s new 8,000m2 office development in Ballybrit, Galway. An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D., turned the sod on the state of the art R&D facility on 3rd February.

    RPS is providing mechanical, electrical design and LEED assessment services on the new office which consists of three connected wings to support administration, software development, cloud innovation and business services for HP worldwide project. The new sustainable office will have capacity for 700 staff and is scheduled for completion in February 2015.

    The project involves the full mechanical and electrical installation of the new open plan offices and commercial canteen area. The installation included medium voltage transformers, fully air conditioned facility, energy efficient daylight linked lighting control systems and the IT infrastructure for the offices.

    As LEED Assessor, RPS’ role on this project is to input to design team meetings in order to ensure that the development is specified according to the sustainability principles of the LEED certification system. The RPS team will ensure that the construction of the development meets the requirements of the LEED rating system and that the target of a LEED Gold rating is achieved.

    Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the United States Green Building Council’s internationally recognised certification for the design, construction and operation of high performance sustainable buildings and developments. Buildings can qualify for four levels of certification: LEED Certified, LEED Silver, LEED Gold and LEED Platinum. They are assessed across a number of areas including sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

    Speaking at the commencement of construction ceremony, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D. said ‘In addition to the very significant contribution that this facility already makes to the local community, I am delighted to see the central role the Irish based construction and building services firms are having in the design and construction of this facility. Ireland has a recognised world class expertise in designing and constructing state-of-the-art facilities and I have no doubt that this building will be best in class.

    Brian Horan:
    Brian McIntyre:

    Shanganagh Bray Main Drainage Wins 2014 LAMA Award for Most Significant Contribution to Water Quality

    06 February 2014

    Shanganagh Bray Main Drainage Wins 2014 LAMA Award for Most Significant Contribution to Water Quality

    The Shanganagh Bray Main Drainage Project was recently awarded the 2014 Local Authority Members Association (LAMA) Award for ‘Most Significant Contribution to Water Quality’ at a ceremony in Dublin.

    RPS provided full civil, architectural, environmental, landscape design services, along with overall design co-ordination services on the €98.5m project for client Sisk Dragados Drace (SDD Joint Venture), who were appointed Design & Build Contractors to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. The project involved the upgrading of the existing Shanganagh Wastewater Treatment Works to provide high level secondary treatment and the laying of a pipeline from Bray Pumping Station to the new Shanganagh plant to bring wastewater for treatment.

    The Shanganagh Bray Waste Water Treatment Plant, one of the largest in Ireland, now has capacity to treat effluent from a 186,000 population equivalent and the potential to increase capacity to 248,000 in the future for a large conurbation from Foxrock / Carrickmines / Sandyford to the Dublin / Wicklow border, together with Bray, Co. Wicklow.

    The project brings to an end the discharge of untreated wastewater into the Irish Sea and safeguards and protects water quality at Killiney Beach and Bray Strand to meet EU standards. It is a high performing, sustainable wastewater facility, representing ‘state of the art’ innovative technology in wastewater and sludge treatment, energy recovery and environmental management to standards which set new benchmarks for excellence for such plants in Ireland.

    Frank Maguire: