WORK is set to begin on Blackrock Station as part of Cork City Council’s ongoing greenway upgrade.
As part of the refurbishment of the station, which dates back to 1850, the lattice railway footbridge will be reinstated using the existing historic abutments, the old access ramp and disused station platforms will be refurbished, and other bridges and historical features along the route will be repaired and cleaned, while the platforms will be greened with trees, fruit bushes and grasslands as well as seating.
Initial work will begin on the eastern platform from April 22 to April 27, and every effort will be made to ensure full access during the works.
The Blackrock to Mahon Greenway Improvement Scheme has been designed to enhance the popular route due to increased usage by pedestrians and cyclists for recreation and commuting.
Cork City Council has said its upgrading will benefit pedestrians, cyclists and people with disabilities, and will ensure better access to local communities and visitors. At present, people with disabilities cannot access the greenway between Páirc Uí Chaoimh and the Mater Private access point.
A key objective for the council is to minimise the impact on existing habitats during construction. The green infrastructure design followed consultation with the public and was overseen by ecologists, tree specialists and landscapers.
Environmental improvements including new bat roosting boxes, bird nesting boxes and bee supporting habitats are to be created to enhance the existing biodiversity. Soft landscaping works including significant new tree planting, fruit tree and shrub planting, and wildflower meadow planting with native pollinator-friendly species will also be included.
There will be nature-friendly public lighting and CCTV put in place to help pedestrians and cyclists feel comfortable using the route after dark.
The paved walkway will be widened from 3m to 5m and permanent interpretation boards will be put in place so users can learn about the surrounding ecology and heritage. Increased seating areas, lookout points, water drinking points and viewing areas will be installed.
As part of the scheme, a new ramp will also be built near Eden in Blackrock and at the Marina, and existing access ramps will be upgraded to ensure better access for surrounding communities.