A huge new public park in Cork, to rival Dublin’s Phoenix Park, should open to the public next summer.
City Hall officials indicated a long-awaited opening date for Tramore Valley Park after health and safety issues forced the cancellation of a public fun run in October.
The park has been developed, at a cost of tens of millions of euro, on the site of the city’s former Kinsale Road landfill.
At the time of the cancelled event, Cork City Council pledged to address the issues, which they said arose because of the unexpectedly large public demand to use the site for this one event, with large volumes of cars and pedestrians seeking access at the same time.
It is understood one of the main concerns is the timing of traffic lights at the park entrance, on to the busy N27 South Link Road, leading from the city to the Kinsale Rd roundabout.
Pedestrian access to the park also needs to be addressed after the Office of Public Works ruled out, on health and safety grounds, the use of underground culverts which link the park to the Black Ash park and ride facility across the dual carriageway.
Councillor Paudie Dineen had sought an update from officials on the park’s expected opening date, and had quizzed them about the access issues off Half Moon Lane.
The city’s director of services for environment and recreation, Jim O’Donovan, said a risk assessment was being carried out and additional works will be required to ensure public safety in and around the park.
“It is hoped these will be complete to allow us open the park in early summer 2016,” he said.
“A sustainable management and maintenance regime must be adopted which will enable the park open to the public within affordable costs. The public pedestrian access way at Half Moon Lane will be available as will the access point in Douglas West when the park is open.”
However, he said that while the opening and closing times have not yet been determined, they will probably reflect current opening and closing times for the city’s other public parks.
The former landfill has undergone a remarkable €40m decontamination and remediation process in recent years. The landfill was capped and the vast site was landscaped before internal roads and walkways were built, new pitches laid, a BMX track developed and a large multi-use event space created which can host circuses or outdoor concerts.
The park has hosted several charity and special one-off events in recent months. The BMX track is used on a weekly basis by a local club, rugby training and a timed park run take place every Saturday.
The cancellation of the October event followed another unrelated cancellation last summer over insurance issues.
A charity family fun-day in June had to be postponed at the last minute over technical insurance issues. The issues were resolved soon afterwards and the event went ahead in September.
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