April start date for Cork's Marina Park

April start date for Cork's Marina Park

The last of the rubble from the demolished former Cork Showgrounds buildings is gathered for removal by contractors on the site of the proposed Marina Park, the new public park to be built beside Páirc Uí Chaoimh at Monahan Road. Picture: Larry Cummins

CONSTRUCTION of the first phase of Marina Park should be completed by the end of the year.

City officials have confirmed that tender documents for building contractors are due to awarded imminently in the hopes of having a team on site by April.

Demolition work on the old Showgrounds was completed late last year, paving the way for the construction of the multi-million euro project which envisions and ambitious redesign of the entire Marina, from the Shandon Boat Club to Blackrock, including grounds around Páirc Uí Chaoimh and the Atlantic Pond.

Funding was approved by the Department of Environment in 2016.

Long-term plans for the area include water gardens, ornamental features, flower gardens, play areas and amphitheatres.

Once completed, Marina Park will cover 22-hectares, five times the area of Fitzgerald's Park.

David Joyce, head of environment at City Hall, said that the Council is pressing ahead with the plans.

"While the demolition of the Showgrounds was ongoing, we were doing the detailed design that was adopted in the part 8 planning process and that is now almost ready to be signed off on," he said.

"At the same time, we were preparing the tender documentation, which will be awarded imminently to building contractors.

"We expect that in April or May, the contractor will be on site. It has been designed to be completed within about nine months so that by the end of this year, the start of next year, the western elements of the park will be completed."

This is the area around the redeveloped Páirc Uí Chaoimh and back to where the Showgrounds was.

"That is phase one of the project," Mr Joyce said.

"The next phase is around the Atlantic Pond and, for this, we will have to look at tenders and cost to see if it can be carried out as a phase 1A or a phase 2, separate to the first part of the project.

"The whole project has been designed but we will have to deliver it in three phases."

From there, the project will move on to the third phase, connecting the western end of the project to Blackrock village.

"This is a very biodiverse area and we want to be sensitive to that,"

Mr Joyce said.

"This part of the plan will look at adding a number of walkways through this greenery, through this area. We want to keep it as a green, biodiverse area. We want to improve the quality of the paths and the area in general, including the likes of public lighting."

The costs associated with the third phase of works are quite low, Mr Joyce added, suggesting that it won't take too long to finish.

"When we are finished the overall work, Marina Park will connect the entire area from the Showgrounds to Páirc Uí Chaoimh and the Atlantic Pond, from there, the whole way down to the redeveloped Blackrock Village," he said.

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