The full opening of a massive public park on the site of Cork’s former city dump is at least a year down the line, following confirmation it could cost at least €6m to provide “full and safe access” to the site.
Tramore Valley Park, which has been developed on the site of the remediated former Kinsale Road landfill on the South Link Road, has the potential to become Leeside’s version of Dublin’s Marlay Park.
However, it has been plagued by access issues which forced the cancellation of several events and prevented the staging of large-scale events.
Health and safety fears about large volumes of pedestrians and motorists entering and exiting the park via the South Link Road have been blamed.
Hopes that the park would have opened full-time during the summer were raised late last year when city councillors ring-fenced funding for “park supervision costs”.
However, city officials have confirmed that a significant and expensive engineering solution will be required to open the park fully and safely to the public.
“There has to be an engineering solution,” said the city’s head of recreation, amenity, and culture, Valerie O’Sullivan.
The Kinsale Road landfill opened in 1965 and was the city’s main dump until landfilling ceases on site in 2009. It has undergone a €40m decontamination and remediation process.
The landfill was capped and the vast site landscaped before internal roads and walkways were built, pitches laid, dressing rooms built, a BMX track developed, and a large multi-use event space created.
However, health and safety concerns about access have presented large-scale events from taking place. Various options have been considered, including the construction of an overpass and the widening an existing underground tunnel which links the Black Ash park-and-ride facility to the park.
In the short-term, City Hall is working on a plan to improve the availability and accessibility of the amenity.
Tenders for “a new traffic design solution for the entrance roadway” which will require the redesign of the junction with the South Link Road, additional public lighting and the rearrangement of on-site parking spaces, are still being assessed, the council said in a statement.
Ms O’Sullivan said it is hoped the work will start over the coming weeks. But she said realistically, a significant engineering solution will be required in the long-term to realise the full potential of the site.
The loss to the city of Oktoberfest and the Nightmare Realm have thrown the spotlight on the city’s lack of large-scale event spaces.
Recycling, composting, timer recovery, and waste electrical and electronic equipment disposal continue at the council’s civic amenity site.