It follows the advertisement of tenders for the design and construction of the proposed Harley St pedestrian/cycle bridge over the north channel of the River Lee, between Brian Boru Bridge and St Patrick’s Bridge.
Cork City Council hopes that the final design will be signed off early next year, that construction tenders will be awarded by the middle of next year, with a view to starting construction in early 2018.
The council’s head of roads, Gerry O’Beirne, said the project’s 26-month timeline — from the advertising of design tenders to completion — should see the bridge open by February 2019.
It will be the city’s first pedestrian/cycle bridge in over a decade.
The Shandon footbridge was opened to pedestrians in 2004. The €2m Mardyke Walkway bridge, linking the Mardyke to Distillery Fields at Wise’s Quay, was officially opened in 2006 as part of the Banks of the Lee walkway project to complete a walk from the North Mall to the Mardyke.
The new bridge is a key part of the council’s city centre movement strategy which will see private cars banned from St Patrick’s Street for three-and-a-half hours every afternoon. The strategy also proposes to reintroduce two-way traffic on MacCurtain St.
Mr O’Beirne said the location of the bridge was chosen to improve pedestrian and cycle connectivity between St Patrick’s Quay and Merchant’s Quay, and to improve the overall links between the city centre, MacCurtain St, Kent Railway Station, and the bus station on Parnell Place.
There have been several major road layout changes in recent years around Parnell Place and the railway station, where a major project is also underway to re-orientate its entrance to the city’s quay.
Mr O’Beirne said the bridge location is the best natural desired line for pedestrians or cyclists travelling between the bus station and railway station.
It is also hoped the bridge will encourage footfall from the city centre towards MacCurtain St, boosting retail and trade there, and on St Patrick’s Quay.
The project brief calls on the design and engineering teams to design an “elegant and attractive” low-level structure with a single span of approximately 66m. The bridge must provide a common pedestrian/cyclist area with a minimum clear parapet-to-parapet width of 4.5m.
Its design must make allowances for floodwater levels, or have a suitable flood defence proposal built in, it must be designed to minimise impacts on the river view, and it must maintain the current navigation passage along the river. It must have wind protection, attractive night-time illumination, and provide for a sustainable and cost-effective solution that minimises future maintenance.
The design team must also provide options for how the bridge will tie-in with the existing streetscape, including landing platforms and pedestrian crossing on the southern riverbank, and a public realm area design.
Funding is coming from the EU’s designated urban grant scheme and the National Transport Authority.
Rain-activated art to be installed on footpaths in Cork
The team behind a new Cork city initiative will be praying for rain to help people experience life in the city in a new way.
Rain-activated art will be installed on footpaths across the city centre as part of the Urban October experience which aims to showcase how well designed and managed public spaces have a positive impact on people who live in, visit or work in the city.
“We are inviting people to look at the city through fresh eyes and to celebrate its attractions and experiences,” said council spokesman Paul McGuirk..
“The initiative will also highlight the many groups who are working together to make our city a better place.”
Lord Mayor Cllr Des Cahill saw the rain-activated footpath art in the US and asked the council to consider doing it here.
The council sourced the product and the Reimagine Cork team was chosen to implement it.
They will install art, including quotes and positive messages, which will only reveal themselves during rain showers.
A ‘Looking Up’ competition is planned with members of the public being asked to identify buildings around the city centre to be in with a chance of winning a tasting menu for four, to the value of €200, in Greene’s Restaurant on MacCurtain St.
A family fun day event will also take place on Cornmarket St and Coal Quay, featuring a digital scavenger hunt, Ringo: Music Bingo, art exhibitions, food fairs, street music, guided walks, educational seminars and dance lessons.
“With over 70 free events — from art exhibitions, food fairs and street music to guided walks, educational seminars and dance lessons — there truly is an experience to suit every taste this October in Cork city centre,” said Bernie Connolly of Ecowell, a sustainable development group.
You can get more details on the planned events on www.corkcitycentre.ie/urbanoctober.