It will take more than a year to convert an existing maintenance gate into a public access point to Cork’s newest public park.
City officials have outlined the various steps involved in a long process before the Tramore Valley Park maintenance gate on Half Moon Lane can be used as a pedestrian and bike access point to the vast new amenity.
It follows another request from city councillors this week for an update on efforts to open the Half Moon Lane entrance to the public following the park’s official opening last summer.
The park, on the site of the remediated Kinsale Road city dump, was officially opened last May.
But there has been constant criticism about the lack of pedestrian or cycling access points.
Only two entrances are in use - the main vehicular entrance off the South Link Road and a pedestrian access from the eastern side, along a path near Willow Park, close to Gaelscoil na Duglaise.
There have been several calls for the council's service gate on Half Moon Lane, on the northern side of the park, to be opened for public use.
The council has repeatedly said it recognises the need for, and the demand for access to the park through this lane but officials said it must be assessed first to ensure the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, while also taking into consideration the safe movement of local vehicular traffic.
Now, the full details of that process have been outlined to councillors.
They were told on Monday that while opening this access gate to the public is highly desirable, careful planning and detailed design works need to be completed beforehand.
“Financial provision for the appointment of traffic consultants to progress this project is included in the 2020 request for Parks Capital Funding,” they said.
“Should this request for funding be successful then it would be planned to appoint consultants during the first half of 2020.
“The role of the traffic consultants will be to undertake a traffic assessment/analysis and complete a survey of the lane.
“This data will then be presented as a set of draft improvement proposals specifically designed to address safety issues that exist at present.”
A Part 8 planning application would then be prepared, involving consultation with local stakeholders and the preparation of detailed proposals, officials said.
“If the Part 8 is approved by council, the project will proceed to detailed design, tender and ultimately contract award and construction,” their report says.
“Obviously delivery of this project will be dependent on the required funding being available to cover said construction costs.”
They said an estimate of the total cost will be undertaken at the detailed design stage.
And they said options to finance the works will also be considered at this stage with a view to preferably identifying an external funding source for the project.
“Total timescale to get this project to the end of the Part 8 process is approximately 12 months from the date of appointment of the traffic consultants,” they said.