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Red Cow Interchange

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Red Cow Interchange
Acomhal na Bó Deirge
Location Map ( geo)
Red cow interchange - Coppermine - 23207.JPG
Red Cow Interchange in 2009.
Cameraicon.png View gallery (52)
Highway Authority
Transport Infrastructure Ireland
Junction Type
Roads Joined
M50, N7, R110

The Red Cow Interchange is a major road junction in Ireland, and potentially the most well-known in the country. It's where the M50 bypass of Dublin meets the N7 towards Cork, Waterford and Limerick.

It was constructed in 1990 with the opening of the M50 in the area, and named after the townland of the same name. A Red Cow Inn is shown on the site on 19th century maps. The junction was made more unusual with the opening the Luas red tram system, which crossed the motorway slip roads with traffic lights.

Construction of the Red Cow Interchange improvements in January 2007.

The junction was originally a simple roundabout interchange, but as the M50 was extended and the N7 / N8 / N9 routes gradually improved, it suffered more and more from being a notorious bottleneck. Upgrading the interchange was first recommended in 1994. The Luas park and ride positioned at the junction became an important transport interchange, too. There were now three lanes of N7 meeting the roundabout, and it was a regular feature of local traffic reports.

Work started on the junction improvements around May 2006 and a few initial free-flow links opened in October 2007. Construction continued on the junction during 2007 and 2008, and by early 2009 most of the work was complete. The new junction is largely free-flow, and stands out for its complex arrangements of flyovers, loops and the tramway.

The upgrade to the interchange involved the construction of a large bridge, known as Bowstring Bridge, which allows traffic to cross the N7 to reach the park and ride site and Clondalkin. It is officially called Joe Williams Bridge.

Despite the impression given by the layout of the junction, since the M50 opened this has not been the main route into Dublin. The N7 was shortened so that it began here, and traffic heading towards the city was told to join the M50 to Palmerstown. Signage for "City Centre" returned with the junction upgrade.

As is the case with other landmarks in Ireland, it has been given an unofficial slang name of the "Mad Cow" Interchange, a particularly popular moniker during the junction improvements. Despite the new road layout, the junction does still suffer from congestion, primarily due to vehicles braking for the loops.

Confirmed early designs for Irish motorway interchanges are hard to come by, but one plan dated 1977 shows the Red Cow Interchange as a cloverleaf. It's not clear whether this was the intention, or just a placeholder.


Route To Notes


Ó Dheas SOUTHBOUND For Dún Laoghaire
M11 Loch Garman WEXFORD


Ó Thuaidh NORTHBOUND For Aerfort Átha Cliath DUBLIN AIRPORT ·
Calafort Átha Cliath DUBLIN PORT


M7 Luimneach LIMERICK For M9 Port Láirge WATERFORD
and M8 Corcaigh CORK


Former N7

Red Cow Interchange
Related Pictures
View gallery (52)
N7 at the M50 - Coppermine - 21054.JPGB off slip - Coppermine - 11890.JPGM50 J9 Red Cow Works - Coppermine - 20200.jpgM50 northbound - Coppermine - 19655.JPGM50 upgrades (NB J9) - Coppermine - 7483.JPG
Junctions on the M50
City  • 2 Coolock  • 3 Turnapin  • 4 Ballymun  • 5 Finglas  • 6 Blanchardstown  • 7 Palmerstown  • 9 Red Cow  • 10 Ballymount  • 11 Tallaght  • 12 Scholarstown  • Ballycullen • 13 Ballinteer  • 14 Sandyford  • 15 Carrickmines  • 16 Laughanstown  • 17 Junction 17
Junctions on the M7 and N7
1 Red Cow • 1A Newlands Cross • 2 Kingswood • 3 Citywest • 3A Junction 3A • 4 Rathcoole • 5 Steelstown • 6 Castlewarden • 7 Kill • 8 Johnstown • 9 Maudlings • 10 Newhall • 11 Great Connell • 12 Newbridge • 13 Kildare • 14 Monsteravin • 15 Ballybrittas • 16 Portlaoise East • 17 Togher • 18 Port Laoise West • 19 Ballycuddahy • 21 Borris-in-Ossory • 22 Roscrea • 23 Moneygall • 24 Toomevara • 25 Nenagh • 26 Carrigatogher • 27 Birdhill • 28 Newport • 29 Ballysimon • 30 Rossbrien

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