FUNDING for a proposed cycle link and pedestrian bridge over the South Ring Road into Tramore Valley Park will be sought by Cork City Council next year.
Councillor Shane O’Callaghan has called on the local authority to seek funding streams from both the National Transport Authority (NTA) and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) for the pedestrian footbridge linking the park to Grange and Frankfield.
“Given its enormous importance and the huge benefits of the project, the city council [should] make the project a priority when it comes to a recommendation for funding both from the NTA and also from TII - given the fact that it would dramatically reduce traffic congestion on the roads and would provide a safe way of accessing the city centre from the Grange Road.
“It may make sense for the project run in tandem with the proposed walkover of the N27, linking Tramore Valley Park to the Black Ash park and ride - both projects would serve to dramatically increase accessibility,” Mr O’Callaghan added.
City Hall director of roads Gerry O’Beirne said the detailed design process, which had been started by Cork County Council before May’s city boundary extension, is progressing and funding to move to the tender process will be pursued next year.
“Cork County Council obtained Part 8 planning approval for the proposed scheme in September 2017,” he said.
“Atkins Consultants were appointed prior to the boundary extension to progress the detailed design work required. The detailed design for both the cycle way and the proposed bridge over the N40 continues to be progressed by Cork City Council and Atkins Consultants.
“The NTA provided grant funding in the current year for the detailed design phase and the City Council will seek funding to proceed to tender in 2020 and construction thereafter.
“The project is currently at detailed design stage and we expect that to be completed by next year. That stage is being funded by the NTA,” Mr O’Beirne added.
City Council also plans to build a walkover bridge over the N27 to link the park to the Black Ash park and ride and increase pedestrian access to the €42 million park development in addition to the plans to connect the site to Grange via a bridge over the N40.
A pedestrian bridge across the south link would allow the park to be connected to a walkway which leads to Togher.
Plans for a bridge across the South Ring Road date as far back as 1992.
Tramore Valley Park has previously been plagued 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 constructed new internal roads to the park earlier this year to ensure maximum access.
A single-span steel truss bridge is proposed for the bridge, crossing both lanes of the N40. It would travel from the eastern side of Vernon Mount House close to the Alden Grove estate across the road to the park close to Nemo Rangers GAA pitches where it will link to existing cycle paths in the park.
Tramore Valley Park is used primarily as a public park but also contains playing pitches, a biodiversity area and activity trails.
Some other possible uses for the site could see a campervan or caravan park developed.
The 72-hectare park, one of the largest green acre sites in the city, closed as a dump in 2009.