Ireland - Services


Route Selection – Linear Infrastructure

RPS has extension experience in the route and site selection of major infrastructural linear development in Transport Water and Energy in particular.

The selection of a preferred route for a motorway, water or gas pipeline or power line is a sensitive issues with local landowners and the wider public concerned with safety, health and environmental issues. It must therefore be a staged process starting with detailed consideration of the study area and the routing criteria.

It is also very sensitive from a planning viewpoint as only a carefully planned and transparent process will convince the planning environmental and regulatory to give consent. The process usually commences with a GIS based map that enables unsuitable areas to be sieved out before the identification of long listed and in turn shortlisted routes.

The site selection process is a multidisciplinary interactive process involving planners, engineers, landscape architects, ecologists, archaeologists, agronomists, communications and other relevant specialists.

There are two parallel processes of data collection and environmental assessment to be followed. The likely routes are usually assessed at a high level in the first instance using maps and recent aerial photographs graduating to helicopter and other usual to discern unsuitable areas which are confirmed by specialist studies.

Case Studies

Corrib Onshore Gas Pipeline

Corrib Onshore Gas Pipeline

Shell E&P Ireland Ltd.

SEPIL appointed RPS to find a modified route for the Corrib Onshore Pipeline in consultation with the local community and other relevant stakeholders.

RPS’ brief included:

Identification and evaluation of modified route options in accordance with the recommendations of an appointed mediator

Consideration of alternative pipeline construction methods in an area with many environmental and technical challenges

Consultation with members of the local community and other relevant statutory and non-statutory stakeholders on route selection criteria and alternative route options


The consultation and information process ran for approximately 18 months before a final pipeline route emerged as being preferred. All inputs (community, environmental, technical and others) were evaluated in the route development process which was described within the project EIS.

Construction began in July 2011 and was completed in December 2015. The Corrib Onshore Gas Pipeline won the Engineers Ireland Outstanding Project of the Year Award in 2016.

Gas Pipeline to the West

Gas Pipeline to the West

Bord Gáis Eireann

RPS was appointed to provide detailed design, planning, construction and commissioning supervision of over 300km of 750mm (30"), 85bar gas transmission pipeline.

The Gas Pipeline to the West (pressure 85 bar) was successfully constructed on programme and within budget during the summer of 2002 - one of the wettest summers on record. It now connects Ballough AGI in North Co. Dublin, to Goatisland AGI in Co. Limerick and brought natural gas to towns in Counties Meath, Westmeath, Roscommon, Galway, Clare and Limerick - some of these for the first time.

The pipeline crossed 25km of peatland, 272 roads, 14 railways, 158 rivers (including the River Shannon & estuary twice) and 1 canal. It traversed the property of 1300 landowners in 7 countries. It completes a national gas transmission ring main comprising the Gas Pipeline to the West and the Cork to Dublin Pipeline and it will eventually carry gas from the Corrib Gas Field.

Limerick Tunnel

Limerick Tunnel

Limerick County Council & National Roads Authority

The 675m tunnel under the River Shannon is one of the largest and most complex infrastructural projects ever undertaken in Mid-West Ireland.

RPS, in a joint venture with COWI, has fulfilled the role of Project Consultant since 1999 and has worked with its JV partner, Limerick County Council and the National Roads Authority (NRA) on delivering this key piece of infrastructure that forms a critical link in the Government’s proposed Atlantic Corridor on the west coast of the country. Prior to 2004, RPS led and project managed the JV team for the route selection, preliminary design and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) phases leading to the granting of permission by An Bord Pleanála. Since 2004, RPS has been responsible for providing technical advice and assistance to the NRA for the tender phase and provided technical advice, design review and contract monitoring services during the construction phase of the project.