CITY HALL will move to fast-track funding for the cycle link and pedestrian bridge linking Tramore Valley Park to Grange and Frankfield.
The council has unanimously agreed to lobby the National Transport Authority and Transport Infrastructure Ireland to prioritise funding for the bridge, which is estimated to cost in the region of €3.2m, and had planning already approved by Cork County Council before the extension of the city boundary last May.
Fine Gael councillor Shane O’Callaghan believes the bridge can become a lasting symbol of the ties between the city and the county, as well as providing functional benefits.
“It’s already long overdue,” said Mr O’Callaghan. “It would provide a safe picturesque way of accessing Tramore Valley Park without having to travel there by car. It would also ease traffic congestion on the Grange Road which is horrific at the moment by offering a safe and convenient way for people to cycle to the city centre.
“It would also be beneficial in terms of symbolism because you are literally building a bridge between the city and the new expanded area of the city. It would, thus, serve as a symbol of the City Council’s commitment to the new areas that have come into the expanded city.”
It was also put to the council executive that a bridge would enhance the Tramore Valley Park by giving the public access to the only mature trees in the area — on the Vernon Mount side of the park — and enable walkers and cyclists to travel from the Grange Road to Half Moon Lane without having to go on a public road.
The city council constructed new internal roads to the park earlier this year to ensure maximum access but it has been dogged by access issues due to health and safety concerns about large volumes of pedestrians and motorists entering and exiting the park via the South Link Road.
The city council also plans to build a pedestrian bridge over the N27 to link the park to the Black Ash Park & Ride and increase pedestrian access to the €42m park development.
Plans for a bridge over the south link are now almost 30 years in the making.