4m euro facelift for Grafton Street
Dublin's Grafton Street is to undergo a four million euro facelift, it has been announced.
Over the next 18 months broken red bricks on the capital's premier shopping street will be replaced by natural granite, some from the Dublin and Wicklow mountains. The work will begin in early June and be carried out in five stages to finish in time for Christmas shoppers in 2014.
Dublin City Council warned there will be some disruption as the upgrade will happen at the same time as the new Luas line connecting the north and south of the city is constructed.
Lord Mayor Naoise O Muiri said: "Grafton Street is the premier street south of the Liffey - when Grafton Street looks well, the city does well. The repaving is great news for businesses, shoppers and tourists."
The granite - similar to the centre of O'Connell Street - will replace the dated paving that has been on Grafton Street since 1988.
Council chiefs claimed the works, which will take 18 months to complete, will not disrupt shoppers. All stores will stay open for business and the repaving will be suspended for eight weeks during Christmas shopping and the New Year sales.
New public lighting and street furniture, including sculptures, will also be part of the revamp, to be carried out by KN Networks.
A competition will be held to choose the street furniture.
Richard Guiney, of Dublin City Business Improvement District, said the street has an annual footfall of more than 30 million people and attracts shoppers and visitors to the city centre.
"The planned repaving will ensure the physical environment matches the quality retail and leisure offering and will accelerate the continued growth," he said.