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Sunday 10 December 2023 Dublin: 7°C
Digging A Hole

Coastal greenway delayed as contractor hits drains and causes flooding

Solutions being put in place include a shallow trench and overflow pipe into the estuary.

THE ALMOST COMPLETE Baldoyle-Portmarnock Greenway will be delayed by several weeks due to issues with flooding which were caused by drains being hit during construction works.

The new 1.8km coastal cycling route was due to be completed by the end of October by contractor Murphy International at a cost of €2.5 million. 

An internal Fingal County Council email from the start of November reveals that “the contractor hit two field drains when putting in the service corridor underneath the pathway”. This goes on to say that groundwater “is gathering in the lowest point in the landscape”. 

The flooding was noticed by locals after heavy rain in both October and at the start of November. A spokesperson for the council said that a total of 600 cubic metres of water was lying along a stretch of path on the new greenway last month.  

Noteworthy obtained a number of internal Fingal County Council emails on the issue using freedom of information. They revealed that flooding on the greenway was not anticipated as no discussions occurred before the flood happened. 

Overflow pipe

Various solutions were proposed including using a manhole on the coast road to take the overflow of water from the flooded area. However, this was ruled out by a fellow council worker, saying “the existing surface water system can’t handle the existing load never mind adding more water”.

The current solution is a shallow trench called a swale which will hold the water along with “an overflow pipe discharging into the edge of the estuary”. This has to be discussed with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, according to the internal emails. 

In the flood screening report submitted last year as part of planning for the scheme, it was “not envisaged that the proposed development will pose any significant potential flood risk to the surrounding lands, properties or the surrounding road network”. 

Atkins / YouTube

The cycle and walkway may not be open this winter as An Bord Pleanala set nature conservation conditions that no construction works could take place from November to April. However, a spokesperson for the council said “it is anticipated that the greenway will open by May of next year and that all construction works will be completed before then”.

They added that “due to the need for some additional works, the completion of the route has been delayed by several weeks”. They did not provide an official opening date. 

Dangerous road

Kieran Ryan of Dublin Cycling is disappointed that the new cycle route is not going to open on time. He said “it’s a dangerous section of road” and many cyclists put their bikes away when the evenings get dark if commuting from those areas. 

“It’s a missed opportunity to have people cycling in and out of the city during the winter months.” He added that the planning and construction of the greenway had been successful and quick until now, compared to other cycling projects.  

Green Party councillor David Healy said that “it’s badly needed and the whole community is looking forward to it”. He now hopes it will open early next year. 

There are plans for a complete coastal cycle route in Fingal. Healy said the council is hoping to hear back from An Bord Pleanala early next year about the next section, the Broadmeadow Way, a 6km route that links Malahide and Donabate. This will go across the Malahide Estuary adjacent to the mainline railway viaduct.  

Bicycle Blackspots Investigation 

Do you want to know which roads and junctions are the most dangerous for cyclists?

The number of people cycling in Ireland has risen dramatically with a near doubling of the number of bikes coming into Dublin city centre over the past eight years.

The Noteworthy team want to analyse the last ten years of official data to see collision and fatality rates on the country’s roads and take a look at accident blackspots around Ireland.

Here’s how to help support this proposal> 

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