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Back On Track In Carrigaline

Writes Leo McMahon

There was good news at Monday’s meeting of Cork County Council’s Carrigaline Municipal District (MD) when agreement was reached on installing a suitable surface for a long sought after running track in Carrigaline Community Park.

Dismay was voiced at the July meeting when it was indicated that the park and proposed surface would not be suitable for a number of reasons and that it was proposed to place the track on the Crosshaven walkway instead but councillors insisted on a re-think and deferred the matter.

Executive engineer Vincent Florish, at the September meeting of the MD, said a survey and more research were carried out. He circulated to councillors a sample of what he described as a hybrid surface suitable for both walking and running which was different to the previous proposal of a surface suitable for running only and said it wouldn’t be damaged by a scooter or skateboard.

It was also suggested the track could be confined within the community park mainly around the lagoon over a distance of around 400 metres.

Mr. Florish said it was intended to upgrade the existing tarmac and gravel surface into a 1.2 metres wide surface with concrete pencil kerbing, an improvement on the existing width of between 900cm and 1.1m. The non-slip material would be softer than tarmac and concrete making it suitable for running and would also comprise a black rubber flex to enable drainage.

Thanking the engineer, Cllr Marcia D’Alton (Ind) said ‘it’s really what the people want.’ Cllrs Aidan Lombard (FG) and Liam O’Connor (FG) concurred, the latter saying runners in Carrigaline would welcome it.

Cathaoirleach Seamus McGrath (FF) agreed saying the multi-use surface and park location was in line with the feedback members got. He asked what would happen next.

If the members were happy with the revised proposal, he could put together a specification for going to tender, replied Mr Florish. The tender advertising process took 30 days and once prices were obtained it would be at least another two weeks before a contractor could be appointed, making a total of around 60 days before work could start.

Some councillors remarked that the area in question was dark at night and enquired about lighting but were told that to include this now would push the budget through the €126,000 threshold that requires a ‘Part 8’ application by the council and thereby significantly lengthen the process. It was agreed that ducting below the grass alongside the path could be considered at a later stage.

Senior executive officer Nicola Radley said officials had taken on board comments made previously by members regarding the surface and location and achieved something that could be done in the short term. She also pointed out that the facility was already well used by the community without lights.

In agreement, Cllr McGrath said that in the meantime it might be possible to have a strong light from the nearby community centre building shining on to the track. The revised running track project plan was unanimously agreed.

* Later in the meeting, Cllr McGrath welcomed the recent resurfacing of the community centre car park. There was also support for his motion suggesting a proposal be prepared for upgrading the playground in the community park.

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