BALLINCOLLIG Regional Park is to be expanded, with 850 metres of new footpaths, a bridge, and a boardwalk to extend the popular riverside amenity to the east.
The proposed new route will run through the Gunpowder Mills complex at the eastern edge of the current park, running along the southern bank of the River Lee adjacent to Willow Court and then joining a planned, privately-developed amenity park at the Fionn Laoi estate.
Two pedestrian bridges are proposed in the project consisting of a 12-metre span over a dry canal, close to the eastern entrance to the existing park at Ballincollig GAA Club. A new boardwalk structure will also be built to go around a riverside protected wall structure to connect the Gunpowder Mills complex to Willow Court.
The route is currently not readily accessible to the general public but parts of it are used by anglers and occasionally people walk along the river bank in the former gunpowder mills.
Cork County Council is now seeking a contractor to construct the two bridges along with 600 metres of tarmac path, 250 metres of gravel path, fencing, seating, bins and new signage.
The Regional Park in Ballincollig is one of the most popular public amenities in Munster and is made up of numerous sports playing pitches, a playground, river walkways, cycle paths, canals, a skate park and allotment gardens all located within the historic former gunpowder mill complex.
It measures approximately 140 acres in size and contains 52 structures surviving from the gunpowder manufacturing process. The Gunpowder Mills complex is a National Monument due to its significance as an industrial archaeological site. This new extension will further expand long term plans to create a pedestrian and cycle Greenway between Ballincollig and the city centre linking the Regional Park to the Lee Fields.
A new campaign began in recent months called Lee to Sea campaigning for the ultimate creation of a Greenway from the Inniscarra Dam as far as Crosshaven alongside the River Lee and Cork Harbour.
The closing date to respond to the tender is March 26 and County Hall expects to appoint a contractor within three weeks of that date.