Toxic site cleanup plans move forward as Council issue tender documents

Toxic site cleanup plans move forward as Council issue tender documents
Artists impression of how Spike Island and Cobh might look following the remediation of the former Irish Steel toxic dump.

TENDERS are being sought for the redevelopment of the former toxic dump on Haulbowline.

The Government has committed to spending more than €60 million to turn part of the island into a public park, despite warnings that the site may be unsuitable for such a use.

Cork County Council issued an invitation for tenders for the first phase of works on the island in recent days, with interested companies required to apply before May 3.

The first stage of the project is set to focus on the remediation of the former steelworks site on the island to make it more 'environmentally and financially sustainable' and to facilitate the implementation of 'innovative solutions' for the site.

The works, which are expected to take some 24 months to complete, include the remediation of contaminated land and the protection and repair of the protected buildings on the island.

Works are also required in relation to the protection and repair of existing seawalls, quay dock and lock walls, as well as the addition of perimeter fencing and pedestrian and vehicle access.

This phase of civil engineering works is estimated to cost between €5 million and €10 million, according to the tendering documents issued.

Plans for the development of the site, known as the East Tip, have proven controversial to date.

The East Tip is wholly reclaimed land and contains approximately 650,000 cubic metres of steelworks waste that was deposited on a sand spit over a 40-year period.

The location of the toxic dump is adjacent to the former Irish Steel plant which operated from 1938 until its closure by its owners Ispat in 2001.

A working group set up by the OPW in 2009 to examine potential future uses of the area reported that it was unsuitable for use as a public amenity, housing or industry due to 'a combination of legacy issues, the security considerations of the Naval Service and the lack of necessary infrastructure.'

Instead, the working group recommended that the East Tip could be used for the expansion of the Naval Service, providing additional berthing facilities for ships.

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