Sunday 21 July 2019

Public warned to expect 'a lot of disruption' during works on Mallow boardwalk project

Bill Browne

A senior Cork County Council official has warned that traffic disruption in Mallow would be inevitable once work commences on the construction of the multi-million boardwalk adjacent to the town bridge. 

Speaking to councillors at the February meeting of the Council's Kanturk/Mallow committee, senior engineer Jim Moloney said the project is currently in the final stages of the design phase. 

"It is hoped this will be complete shortly and that a public meeting in relation to the project will be held in Mallow some time during February, at a date yet to be decided," said Mr Moloney. 

"Councillors will be fully briefed on progress before the meeting," he said. In October of last year, 

This was after it emerged that the cost of the town hall project had spiralled to more than €5 million, with the council conceding that the project could not be completed within the allocated timeframe for the grant to be spent. 

On the advice of the Southern Assembly, it was decided that the funding would be switched to the boardwalk project to ensure it was not lost to the town. 

Granted Part Eight planning permission more than seven years ago, the project will incorporate the construction of a new walkway on the western side of the bridge; the creation of a third traffic lane; the demolition of the public toilet block; and the relocation of the existing memorial on the bridge. It is envisaged that the project, which will cost in the region of €2.1 million to undertake, will go to tender over the coming weeks, with construction staring in the spring and set to be completed before the end of the year.

Speaking at last Friday's meeting, Cllr Melissa Mullane (SF) asked if a schedule of works had been drawn up for the project and, if so, had provision been made for the a lot of the works to be undertaken at night to minimise traffic congestion. 

"That is certainly something that should be investigated. There is already a high level of traffic disruption in Mallow at certain times of the day, which has resulted in a lot of negativity around the town," she said. 

In reply, Mr Moloney said the authority was aware of the problems the works would cause, and these concerns had already been passed on to the design office and consultants. 

"However, the nature of the work involved means that there will be a lot of disruption, regardless of whether the works are done at night or during the day," he warned. 

Cllr Mullane said that while she understood this, there were certain jobs, such as road resurfacing, that she feels could easily be done overnight.

"This seems to be to be a very logical thing to do in order to minimise disruption and must be looked into," she said. 

Cllr Gearoid Murphy (FF) said his colleague had made an important point and it should be stressed to the contractors appointed that, where possible, works should be undertaken at night, when traffic levels in Mallow are at their lowest.