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1 Year On Carrigaline Running Track Shows No Signs Of Instalment

Writes Ciaran Dineen

It is a debacle that has ‘run’ for over 12 months and yet the future of the Carrigaline Running Track is as uncertain as ever, with no timeline in place for its installment in the Carrigaline Community Park.

You have to go all the way back to the 15th September 2019, when at the monthly meeting of the Carrigaline Municipal District (MD), Councillors were informed that the project, which had originally received funding in 2016, was given the green light and would see the creation of a 220 linear metre running track around the lagoon area in the Park.

Originally the Council had presented plans for the track to be laid along the Carrigaline-Crosshaven walkway following concerns that the material of the track would not be suitable for the Community Park. However, Councillors persisted with the strong belief that the park was the essential location for the running track and were open to a change of design if this was necessary. As a result, an alternative hybrid surface was chosen so as to support runners and walkers, but also met more durable needs to cater for bikes and buggies.

Cork County Council were confident that the surface would be installed in the summer of 2020 and gave an anticipated date of August 1st. However, more than 12 months on since that day has passed, only remedial work has taken place by the chosen contractor.

As the year entered the Autumn and the Level 5 public health guidelines were re-introduced, councillors were informed by the Council that the cause for delay to the running track was down to concerns over International travel and the transportation of the surface, which was being procured from Germany. They were informed that the surface only had a shelf-life of approximately 4 weeks from leaving the supplier in Germany to being fully installed. As a result, there were delays in the ordering process.

Councillor Seámus McGrath (FF), has regularly raised queries relating to the whereabouts and timeline for the project, most recently in May. It was thought that because restrictions were being lifted and international travel was reaching levels of normality, that there would be no further delays. Cllr McGrath had been told that the contractors had procured the surface but that 6 clear days of dry weather would be needed to complete the job.

Three months later and there has been no further official update from the Council on the details of the project. Although the surface has arrived in Ireland, the contractors have not been on site in Carrigaline since the summer of 2020. Questions have yet to be asked about the viability of the surface, given that the 4-week period of shelf-life has well and truly come and gone. For now though it would seem that there is no sign of any short-term timeline for the completion of the project, much to the frustration of many given the already sizeable 12-month delay.

It is expected that the issue will be raised at the next meeting of the Carrigaline MD in September, where Councillors will be expecting answers over the fiasco. The Carrigdhoun Newspaper asked Cork County Council’s Press Office the following questions:

1. The current status of communication between the Council and the contractor?

2. Who is the contractor?

3. How long has the track material been in storage after delivery from the manufacturer? Is the material still ok to be used having been in storage for so long?

The Press Office issued the following reply: “The Carrigaline People’s park project consisted of a number of elements to improve connectivity for all users in the park. The overall project is 90% complete with the final surface layer to be the 220 linear meter section to be installed.

The project consisted of the following sections; 50 linear meter section of 1.5m wide concrete path connecting to Skate Park and 400 linear meters section 2.6m wide with base layers, kerbing & tar macadam surface which have both been completed. The 220 linear meter section, 1.2m wide to be constructed with base layers, kerbing & final rubber layer coating, the base layer & kerbing is complete and prepared for the final layer.

All sections are currently open to full use by members of the public, The final layer on the 220 linear meter section would only take 2 -3 days to install would limit access to the lagoon area only, advanced notice will be given prior to this closure.”

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