ROADS, bypasses, and greenways topped the agenda at Monday’s meeting of the Southern Committee of Cork County Council.
Director of Services for Roads, Padraig Barrett, explained that 96 per cent of the latest Roads Report is focused on maintenance and not new road construction. “It is only maintaining the existing network we have,” he said.
Mr Barrett said the proposed developments are low in number, but “high in capacity.” Some 99 per cent work being carried out is road safety, including the R624 in east Cork. If the outcome of a feasibility report is in favour of a new roadway, it will be to find another means of preserving the 200-year-old Belvelly bridge, while ensuring that people can travel and cycle safely between Great Island and Fota Island.
“Likewise, the Carrigtwohill to Midleton scheme. A major scheme is needed there for safety alone,” added Mr Barrett.
Some of the projects now being advanced include the N22 Baile Bhuirne to Macroom Scheme. The main design and build contract is being undertaken by a joint venture of Jons Civil Engineering Ltd and John Cradock Ltd.
Cork County Council opened a section of the scheme on December 9, 2022. This sectional opening, described as the Macroom Interim Bypass extends from the new roundabout at Coolcour to a temporary roundabout at Carrigaphooca and allows traffic to bypass the town of Macroom.
The balance of the scheme is scheduled to be completed in the final quarter of this year. Technical advisors have been appointed to prepare a feasibility assessment of active travel route options along the existing N22 and the towns of Macroom and Baile Bhuirne. A draft feasibility report has been prepared and is under review.
Meanwhile, the M28 Cork to Ringaskiddy Project is being progressed. The initial phase of site clearance and fencing from Ringaskiddy to Carr’s Hill is complete and site clearance of the northern section is well advanced. Fencing and boundary wall construction is currently concentrated on the northern section. Extensive utility diversions are underway across the site, including diversions of the Harbour and City watermains, ESB lines and EIR and Enet services.
The main archaeology contract was awarded in 2021 and is progressing well, and there is ongoing engagement with affected landowners. Active Travel Plan options are being progressed.
Also, technical advisors have completed draft scoping studies and reports for greenway projects, including the ‘Lee to Sea’ route, via Macroom, Dripsey and Farran, and the South Cork Greenway from Cork to Kinsale.