Work to improve the Passage Railway Greenway are to begin next week.
The project will widen the greenway from three metres to five metres, install CCTV, environmentally sensitive public lighting and bee, bird and bat boxes to improve the biodiversity of the area.
The project will also reinstate the Blackrock Road railway footbridge and repair and clean the existing bridges and historical structures along the route.
Water drinking points will be added in and soft landscaping works will be carried out.
A total of 46 trees will need to be removed, a limited number of which are already dead or unsafe. However, the project team will replace these trees with 65 semi-mature trees and over 2,000 saplings.
All of the new trees will be native Irish species, as advised by the project’s environmental advisors.
A council spokesperson said the greenway would be kept open, to the greatest possible extent, throughout the works however it will be necessary to close sections on a rolling basis for the safety of both users and workers.
“Traffic management plans will be established to facilitate the safe movement of construction traffic. Information and diversion signage will be in place for pedestrians and cyclists.” The site clearance work that is to commence on Monday, February 22, ahead of the bird nesting season, will take about two weeks.
Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy welcomed the beginning of phase one of the Passage Railway Greenway Improvement Scheme.
“Great credit is due to officials in City Hall of the Infrastructure section; there is great momentum at the moment between drafting plans, gaining the input of the public, amending plans where needs be, and presenting them to the National Transport Authority for funding. There is a deep affection for the old railway line walk and in these Covid times is used regularly by locals".
Mr McCarthy also said the widening of the footpath was much-needed.
"The widening of the footpath is to be welcomed and one which locals have called for. I am personally excited that the old Blackrock Station platform is to get conservation works. It is in a poor state and it would be a shame to lose the platform completely due to neglect.
“I am also excited by the planting of 60 semi-mature trees and over 2,000 saplings along the phase 1 from the Mahon Point to The Marina. It is also welcome that the greenway will be kept open to the greatest possible extent throughout the works.”