Carrigaline Pedestrian And Cycle Bridge Goes For Planning
Updated: Dec 14, 2021
Writes Ciaran Dineen
Cork County Council have recently begun planning process for the development of a new pedestrian and cyclist bridge at Bóthar Guidel, Carrigaline. The improvements are to enhance the safety and connectivity between Carrigaline and Crosshaven for all road users, particularly focusing on active travel modes.
As things stand, the width of the paths flanking each side are not suitable to cater for both pedestrians and cyclists, thus forcing cyclists onto the busy road mixing with vehicular traffic. The existing bridge currently acts as a pinch point with the general area frequently suffering from traffic congestion on all approaches but most significant on Crosshaven Road in the morning and Church Road in the evening.
Arup were appointed to provide multi-disciplinary engineering services for delivery of the project to the planning stage. This new development is proposed to bypass the existing road bridge and traverse the Owenabue River via a new bridge located adjacent to the existing one. This proposed new bridge will cater for both pedestrians and cyclists and be approximately 6m wide and 31m long. The bridge development will look to link the improvement works project to the north with the existing pedestrian facilities to the south of the river. The deck of the bridge will comprise of a concrete slab that will be surfaced with an asphalt or a bonded resin surface course. The handrails will be constructed of stainless steel.
The bridge will be shared use so that cyclists and pedestrians will occupy the same space together however demarcation in the form of surface finishes and lighting will be provided to increase user safety. The bridge will contain both functional and feature lighting for the user’s safety and to provide an aesthetic but subtle glow of light. The deck is to comprise of a slip resistant resin bonded aggregate. It is proposed to include a wooden bench at midspan to provide a seating area and viewing space for user to take in the view east to the estuary and Cork Harbour.
In the Preliminary Design Report, the consultants Arup state that “given the straight alignment of the bridge and the considerable straight length of cycle way north of the proposed bridge (approximately 180m) it is proposed to enhance the space and offer a warm and inviting feel with strong placemaking characteristics that will allow the public to enjoy the surrounding views.”
Commenting on the proposal, which has been in the pipeline for some time, Councillor Seámus McGrath (FF), added, “this pedestrian and cycling link is very welcome as the existing bridge has always been a pinch point and this project will result in significant safety improvements. It improves pedestrian and Cycling connectivity and the proposal will also in time allow the Council to develop an additional lane for traffic in the southbound direction over the bridge. Separate to the bridge project, there will also be work undertaken in the new year to upgrade the stretch from the signalised junction at Bothar Guidel/Church Road to the bridge.”
Recently co-opted local Councillor, Jack White (FG), also welcomed the news stating, “As I regularly walk my dog and run on this stretch of the bridge, I know how tight it is currently. This new plan will address the safety and comfort concerns of pedestrians and cyclists while also making it safer for drivers who won’t have to contend with people stepping off the currently narrow path. I want to thank Cork County Council for their work so far on the project”.
As this project requires particular work near a Special Protection Area (SPA), thus requiring what is known as an Appropriate Assessment. The Council cannot go down the traditional Part 8 planning route which results in public consultation. Instead the Council effectively apply to An Bórd Pleanála for permission. Submissions with regard to the proposal can be made by the public to ABP on or before the 20th January 2022.