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Dublin: 14 °C Monday 23 September, 2019
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Moving statues as new Luas line construction gets underway

Molly Malone is just one of the people who will be moved from her perch during the Luas Cross City construction phase.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

THE NEW LUAS line will see its first passengers in 2017 – but until then there is much construction to get underway.

We can expect moving statues, road diversions, and changes to the roads in Dublin city centre as the new line (which will connect the green and red lines) is built.

RPA’s Director of Corporate Services, Ger Hannon told TheJournal.ie that is currently 40km of line, and 6km will be added to this. It is anticipated that they will see more than 30million passengers a year thanks to the new line. There is a “huge pent up demand for this connection”, said Hannon.

Hannon explained that the Cross City Luas line will connect “what are at the moment two pretty much separate distinct shopping and business districts”.

In time it will be possible for people to come and shop in the Henry St and Grafton St areas on the same day… or drop into Henry St and have lunch on Dawson St.

Grangegorman

Hannon said that the connection of the new Granegegorman campus on the new line is very important, and there will be in excess of 20,000 students using the service.

The old railway line that ran through Dublin city included a stop at Broadstone and at Harcourt St. The latter line was preserved over the years after being closed down in the 1950s, which made it available for the RPA to use during the green Luas line construction.

A similar scenario will occur with the Broadstone facilities near Constitution Hill.

The new lines will see the spreading of the benefits of the Luas, said Hannon. There are lots of areas that need bit of a lift, he said, adding he hopes such areas will see a rejuvenation, as “once Luas goes into a street, things start to happen, things start shaking up”.

The initial works begin next week (24 June) and will be the cellar works on streets such as Dawson St, Grafton St, and Westmoreland St. This will involve some basement extensions, and cellar investigation works which will involve the digging of a narrow trench down about a metre.

Cameras will be sent down to the basements to see what is inside, before any work is done.

Moving statues

As part of the works in the city centre, a number of statues will have to be moved. The famous Molly Malone statue at the bottom of Grafton St is one prime statue to be moved, and will be gone for two years.

Meanwhile, there are also plans to relocate the Fr Mathew Statue from upper O’Connell St, as when the tram is installed, it will leave no room for the reinstatement of the statue.

Dublin City Council is currently putting together options for Fr Mathew, and has to agree with the city council and a range of stakeholders as to where the best location for him will be.

A report is to be submitted and will follow with discussion from residents, the parks department, the Capuchin orders, and the Pioneer Association, a recent Dublin City Council meeting was told.

Molly Malone will be moved early next year to storage, and on completion of the works she will be reinstated just slightly north of where she currently sits along Grafton St.

The cost of storing the statues is “not a huge figure”, as the contractor will supply a facility for all heritage items.

Traffic diversions

There will be major changes to the traffic route around Dawson St, going up along the south east side of Stephen’s Green, heading towards Shelbourne, on the north side of the green.

Hannon pointed out that much of the traffic on Dawson is through traffic, so this will ease pressure on Dawson St.

The diversions will allow people to turn off St Stephen’s Green into Merrion Row, and go straight up Baggot St.  According to Hannon, it will be a “big improvement for people, a more direct route”.

Buses will be able to go along Kildare St towards Trinity College, as they will be able to turn off the green to go down Kildare St, and then will go around Trinity the other way. That will take a lot of the buses out of there, said Hannon.

There will be a “whole rearrangement of traffic to ease pressure on Dawson St”, said Hannon.

Some left and right turns won’t be allowed any more under the diversions. Hannon said that they have taken very careful account of access and delivery requirements, and access to all car parks will be maintained, as well as the ability to make deliveries to premises.

There is also the new bridge being built over the Liffey, which is being managed by DCC and will be used by the Luas and buses.

We will see work on the trackline begin in early 2015, but before the first passengers can hop on board the Luas, the drivers must undergo special training.

Read: Focus on communication during Luas Cross City line construction>

Read: Georgian cellars to be filled in during Luas Cross City construction>

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