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Dublin Port appoints architects to build cycleway and pathway to city centre

“We have cut the Gordian knot of the complex challenge to open up Dublin Port to Dubliners,” Dublin Port’s CEO said

Liffey to Tolka Civic Space Source: Gibney Communications

DUBLIN PORT HAS appointed architects to design a cycleway and pedestrian path between the Port and the city centre.

Grafton Architects will design the Liffey-Tolka project, which Dublin Port called “the most important port-city integration project to date”.

The 1.4km dedicated cycle and pedestrian route will link the River Liffey with the Tolka Estuary, and will go through Dublin Port lands on the east side of East Wall Road and along Bond Road.

The design for the route includes a bridge for cyclists and pedestrians to safely cross over the busy Promenade Road, which links Dublin Port to the Dublin Port Tunnel and is one of the most heavily trafficked roads in the country.

The new linear space ranges from twelve metres to nine metres wide.

The Liffey-Tolka Project will link to a second port-city integration project, the Tolka Estuary Greenway – a 3.2km route along the northern perimeter of Dublin Port overlooking the Tolka Estuary. 

Dublin Port said it would apply to Dublin City Council for planning permission for the Liffey-Tolka Project by April 2021. The target is to begin construction by September 2021 and to finish the project by the third quarter of 2022.

On Monday, the government announced over €63 million would be allocated to improving and expanding on greenways around Ireland in 2021.

DPC_Liffey_Tolka_Project_Graphic Source: Gibney Communications

Commenting on Grafton Architects’ appointment, founder of Grafton Architects Shelley McNamara said: “The Liffey-Tolka Project to connect the River Liffey to the Tolka Estuary, along East Wall Road and Bond Road is not so small but, at the scale of the City it might be considered to be. However, its transformative effect will be immense.

The currently hostile East Wall Road will become a linear Civic Space. This will form a new sense of entry to the City when travelling from the North and from the Dublin Port Tunnel.

McNanara and her colleague Yvonne Farrell won the Pritzker Prize this year – architecture’s highest award. 

She continued: “The drama, scale and animation of the Port will be revealed, joining up with the life of the City. The visual barrier which currently separates these two interdependent worlds will disappear.

The pavement area will increase from a two metre width to twelve metres, offering a safe pleasurable landscaped space for people to walk or cycle. This new ribbon of space, bridging over Promenade Road, will connect the East Coast Trail and Dublin Port’s Tolka Estuary Greenway to the Liffey, terminating in a sunny public space on the water’s edge. This will be a new Urban Amenity for day to day use and for enjoyment in times of leisure.

“We developed a deep appreciation and understanding of Dublin Port from our work on The Flour Mill Masterplan and we are very excited now to have been appointed to bring a project as important to the City as the Liffey-Tolka Project to the consenting phase and, hopefully, to construction next year.”

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Eamonn O’Reilly Chief Executive of Dublin Port said: “Delivering Masterplan 2040 is very complex and our focus to date has been on projects which deliver additional freight capacity. However, an equally important, albeit smaller part, of our Masterplan is integrating Dublin Port with Dublin City.

“We have been delivering projects such as the Diving Bell in 2015 and the Opening of Port Centre in 2017 as isolated stepping stones to integrate the Port with the City but, with today’s appointment of Grafton Architects to design the scheme to link the Liffey with the Tolka, we have cut the Gordian knot of the complex challenge to open up Dublin Port to Dubliners.

 “Dublin Port is not going anywhere, and we are committed to developing nationally important port infrastructure in accordance with the principles of proper planning and sustainable development.

This requires us not only to cater for the needs of cargo and commerce; we must also create real gain for the citizens of Dublin.

“Doing this in a small but extremely busy port requires great design and we are delighted to be working with Grafton Architects as we take on a unique challenge to integrate Dublin Port with Dublin City.

“We have been working with Grafton Architects for the past year to prepare the Flour Mill Masterplan as the blueprint for the redevelopment of the former Odlums Flour Mill on Alexandra Road.

This development is an integral part of our plans to deliver the €1.6 billion of port infrastructure projects required to bring Dublin Port to its ultimate capacity by 2040.

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