Writes Editorial Team
It was announced early on Monday morning that the plan for a bridge connecting Crosshaven and Ringaskiddy is now being progressed.
The project, known as the ‘Owenabue Estuary Bridge Crossing’, will provide a huge boost in efforts to reduce local traffic congestion.
In recent years, as the population of Carrigaline has continued to increase, traffic in the area has become a major local issue. With the development of houses in Janeville, and the erection of three schools near Ballinrea Cross to come, congestion could reach crisis levels if the necessary responses aren’t taken. Currently, it is well known that for people living in Crosshaven, traffic in Carrigaline is having a significant negative impact. Commuters now find that they are having to leave for work, or drop their children to school, earlier and earlier. Although contracts for a Western Relief Road in Carrigaline are now out for tender, it is thought that this will not alleviate the congestion problem enough, given the town’s constant sprawl.
The bridge has already been approved by the Council;- full details here.
The development is expected to coincide with that of the M28 Motorway and will cost €65 million according to designers’ projections.
This is in addition to the total cost of the M28 which is due to require €220 million.
Project developers have sent on a visualisation of what the bridge would look like, and it doesn’t disappoint! It seems that an island will be built in the middle of the estuary, connected to the bridge, where pedestrians will be able to enjoy the sea breeze. It has also been suggested that a cycle lane will be made available, allowing for a mixture of walkers, cyclists and motorists. Concerns that have been addressed in the design and location of the bridge have also been made available and are as follows:
The bridge will be accessible via a slip road on the Fountainstown road, just above the junction with the Crosshaven road. As such it will be elevated over the Carrigaline – Crosshaven walkway and therefore will not restrict use of the walkway.
There will be access ramps from the walkway to the bridge.
The bridge will have a pedestrian/cycle/wheelchair lane on either side which will give access to the island amenity.
The bridge is designed to span the existing channel near the North shore by which occasional access to Carrigaline boatyard is achieved.
The area is a Special Protection area for birds and therefore the design and construction methods seek to minimise related impact. The island is created as an amenity but also to facilitate additional nesting grounds.
The location of the bridge is chosen because of existing road access on both sides and because it would have minimum visual impact on existing dwellings. It also gives quick access to Kilnagleary Business Park and connects easily with the new college road and existing/planned southern link roads through housing estates.
The Council are now seeking help for name suggestions for the bridge from local residents. The most popular that have so far been put forward are; The Sir Francis Drake Bridge (English Naval Explorer), The Joe West Memorial Bridge (former Carrigaline Olympian), or The Railway Bridge (a nod to the railway history in the area).
A timescale indicating the commencement of the project is not yet known but should be made available in due course.
The plans can be viewed here: