Morrison's Island flood defence and street plans to be published this month

Morrison's Island flood defence and street plans to be published this month
An artist impression of how Morrison's Island will look.

PROPOSALS for flood defences on Morrison's Island that include a major upgrade of Fr Matthew and Morisson's quays will be published this month.

The plans will include a three-metre wide public walkway along the length of the island that will include new seating and public lighting.

The proposals also include upgrades to the Trinity bridge outside the College of Commerce. Some parking will also be removed from both quays.

If approved by the city councillors construction of the defences could begin by the end of this summer and be completed by the end of summer 2019.

The City Council said that once complete the defences will offer protection against approximately 80% of flooding that occurs in Cork city centre.

Morrison's Island is regularly impacted by tidal flooding. In severe combinations of tides and wind, most recently in 2014, the flooding continues to the South Mall and onto Oliver Plunkett Street flooding businesses in the city centre.

While the Office of Public Works (OPW) is finalising plans for major flood defences to cover the entire city it was decided to proceed with the protections on Morrison's Island as the two quays were set to be upgraded by the City Council.

The plans for the redeveloped plaza at the South Mall.
The plans for the redeveloped plaza at the South Mall.

David Joyce, the Director of Services in the Council's Environment section said the aim of the project is to reorientate the streets to face the river.

"I think it can be rightly stated that we have turned our backs on the river in Cork and that is a shame," he said. "This whole project aims to reconnect Cork with the River Lee."

"Fr Matthew Quay and Morrison's Quay are south facing and these public realm improvements will make them a very attractive location particularly in summer."

Mr Joyce said getting the public's views on the plans will be critical and they would be open to positive and negative feedback on the plans.

"One particular element we want the public's view on are the proposals for the Trinity footbridge. Some have said the bridge is quite functional and that is something we'd like to improve. We are looking at widening the bridge and flaring the access from both sides.

The City Council is also going a step forward to let the Cork public get a look and feel of the changes streetscape.

"Computer-generated images or renders can only give a certain impression of how the finished project will look. When we publish the plans in City Hall later this month the public will also be able to see a complete, full-sized, seven-metre section of how the quay wall, footpath, railings and bollards," he said.

In relation to the recent architectural competition run by the Save Cork City organisation to put forward a public realm design for Morisson's Island, Mr Joyce said the City Council welcomed their input and encouraged them to get involved in the planning process. He said many of the proposals submitted in that competition proposed open quays that would be problematic from a health and safety point of view and some did not provide an element of flood defences.

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