Ballincollig Regional Park extension is opened to pedestrians and cyclists

Ballincollig Regional Park extension is opened to pedestrians and cyclists
The newly opened section of the Ballincollig Regional Park.

An extension to Ballincollig Regional Park at its eastern side has opened to pedestrians and cyclists.

The project was the last carried out by Cork County Council in Ballincollig which is now under the jurisdiction of Cork City Council following May’s city boundary extension.

A section of the 20-acre park has now opened near the former Gunpowder Mills and heritage centre.

Work began in May on the new route which runs through the Gunpowder Mills complex at the eastern side and along the southern bank of the River Lee to join up with the Fionn Laoi estate.

Cork County Council bought the park in 1977 and it has been developed as a public amenity with play areas, soccer pitches, walking/running trails, and public events.

The newly opened section of the Ballincollig Regional Park.
The newly opened section of the Ballincollig Regional Park.

Since acquiring the site, Cork County Council installed the county’s first skate park and extensive footpaths and it established the Ballincollig Regional Park Development Plan in 2012 which has seen an investment of €1.4m in facilities in the park including the playground, multi-use games areas, allotments, trails, and landscaping.

This investment has run in tandem with a huge increase in usage of the park in recent years with over 660,000 people visiting in 2018.

Two pedestrian bridges have been built, with a 12-metre span over a dry canal, close to the eastern entrance to the existing park at Ballincollig GAA Club.

A new boardwalk has also been built to go around a riverside protected wall to connect the Gunpowder Mills complex to Willow Court.

The opening of the new route extension comes a couple of months after the Inniscarra Bridge, which carries up to 7,500 cars a day and is situated near the entrance to Ballincollig Regional Park, had traffic lights installed to deal with regular gridlock in the area.

However, the fate of the weir, situated in the river by the western side of the Regional Park, remains uncertain.

The historic structure collapsed in late 2014, having been built in the 1790s to divert water to the local Gunpowder Mills. It had been in a state of disrepair for years prior to the collapse. It is estimated that repairs could cost in the region of half a million euro.

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