Plans for a €1.2m boardwalk on the outside of an historic bridge over the river Blackwater have been unveiled in a bid to improve traffic flow.
Cork County Council announced details last night of the new structure which they propose to build on the western spandrel wall of Mallow Bridge in north Cork.
The bridge dates from 1712 and is a recorded protected structure. The council said the proposed boardwalk has been designed to minimise visual impact on the bridge.
In a statement, the council said once the boardwalk is installed, it will allow for the existing bridge footpath to be removed for the addition of traffic turning lanes to improve traffic flow across the bridge and reduce journey times for drivers.
The scheme will also include the relocation of the Republican War Monument from the bridge parapet to a safer location in a new amenity area on the northern approach to the bridge.
A public information evening on the scheme will be held at the Hibernian Hotel in Mallow from 4pm to 9pm next Wednesday, April 17.
County Mayor Cllr Gerard Patrick Murphy said traffic studies and research have shown that the boardwalk and the extra traffic lane will reduce journey times for motorists and provide safe and easy access for pedestrians and cyclists to the town.
“It’s a win-win for everybody and will enhance the quality of life for the whole community,” he said.
Council chief executive Tim Lucey said the boardwalk will facilitate shared space for cyclists and pedestrians and will improve access to the town centre for residents of areas to the south of the town.
“It will not only greatly improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users on the bridge it will also contribute many associated sustainability, environmental and economic benefits to the town,” he said.
It is hoped that work will start in June and take up to five months to complete.
Nighttime works will be carried out to minimise traffic disruption but some of the overnight works will require a full bridge closure.
Other day lane or road closures and detours will be confined to the school summer holiday period where possible.
The project is being funded by the council and an EU Designated Urban Centres grant worth €1m.