Businesses brace for disruption over €20m water pipe works around Cork's MacCurtain St

One of Cork City’s busiest hotel and restaurant districts is bracing for disruption and water outages during a €20m Irish Water pipe replacement project.

The utility confirmed yesterday that it plans to start replacing old water mains serving a vast area north of the River Lee, on MacCurtain St, St Patrick’s Hill, and surrounding streets, by the end of next month.

It will involve decommissioning old and damaged cast iron water mains, much of which dates back to the early 1900s, replacing them with ductile iron and plastic, or polyethylene, pipes.

Irish Water said the work, which is part of a larger scheme to replace some 4km of old water mains across the city centre, is essential in order to maintain a secure and reliable water supply for customers in the city.

It said the ageing pipes have become severely corroded and have a high level of leakage — rates of over 60% in some parts of the city.

Among the areas to benefit from the work will be Leitrim St, Carroll’s Quay, York St, Pine St, Lower Glanmire Rd, Woods Place, Hardwick St, Devonshire St, Little William St, Coburg St, St Patrick’s Quay and St Patrick’s Hill, Camden Place, MacCurtain St, Water St, Bridge Street, Harley St, and Lower Grattan Hill.

“Replacing these old water mains will reduce leakage and result in a major improvement in the water supply for our customers in the area,” said Irish Water spokesman Steven Blennerhassett.

“Combined with the proposed upgrade of the Lee Road water treatment plant and ongoing water main rehabilitation work throughout the city, this is part of Irish Water’s commitment to providing the people of Cork with a modern, safe, and efficient water supply network.”


He said works like this can cause inconvenience but said Irish Water is committed to minimising any disruption by engaging with local businesses, residents, and other stakeholders.

Irish Water and Cork City Council will host an information evening at the Metropole Hotel on MacCurtain St, from 5pm to 7pm on July 5, to outline the scope of the works in detail.

Site investigation works are due to start next Monday, with a number of trial holes to be dug on MacCurtain St and surrounding areas, mostly in parking bays.

The main construction work, which will be carried out by Coffey Northumbrian on behalf of Irish Water, should start by the end of July.

Temporary traffic management arrangements will be put in place as the work progresses.


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