TRAMORE Valley Park will finally open to the public on May 22 with a walkway named after a Cork Olympian.
The long-awaited €42m public amenity, on the site of a former city dump at Kinsale Road, will be opened in a ceremony led by Lord Mayor Mick Finn where the 2.5km looped park walk will be named after five-time Olympian and world champion walker Rob Heffernan.
The naming of the walkway comes off the back of a motion presented to the city council by Councillor Seán Martin (FF).
Mr Heffernan said he is delighted with the honour.
“This is a massive honour for me to know that long after I am gone, a legacy of health and fitness at all levels will live on. To have a looped park walk named after me is very humbling and would sincerely like to thank Cork City Council.”
The Tramore Valley Park site is set to be 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.
Council Martin has urged the city council to now take steps to link the park to surrounding areas with the possibility of a bridge and underground walkways.
He has called for the local authority to speed up plans to include a cycle and pedestrian footbridge linking the park to Grange and Frankfield and a study to be carried out to identify connectivity options between the Black Ash park and ride and the park — possibly through underground walkways which already exist but would have to be upgraded.
He believes the park could be a prime location for hosting summertime concerts if the correct infrastructure is in place to allow people to access it.
“There is a great structure there with car parks at schools and the park and ride so there is a fair spread of parking in an area with great transport links,” said Mr Martin.
“This is something that is definitely worth looking at. If that’s the case, we need infrastructure to link the park and ride and the Grange and Frankfield areas to the park.
“The next step in the process now is to engage on how we can get Tramore Valley Park connected,” he added.
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.