Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: €3.5 million grant announced for the development of the new Marina Park in Cork City

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

€3.5 million grant announced for the development of the new Marina Park in Cork City

It was announced yesterday (19th Jan 2016) that there would be €3.5 million grant for the development of the new Marina Park in Cork City. This is coming from the European Regional Development Fund so it's actual funding as opposed to some notional election promise.

 This ties in with the ongoing re-development of the Pairc Ui Chaoimh GAA grounds and the map below shows the area concerned...

At first glance, it would seem to be of little interest from a running point of view but if the overall plan is looked at in more detail then it does in the longer term.

1) The final plan is to have a walkway alongside the River Lee from the City Centre to the Marina. See red dots.

There is an aim to connect the footpath along the quay wall, linking Marina Park and City Centre. Preference is for connection along the back of the boat storage facility of the Shandon Boat Club. This is an essential, but long term goal. Essential repairs to quay walls should be part of this construction. A multifunctional profile for the Marina in which boulevard, tow path, pedestrians, skating and vehicular traffic (possible public transport at a later date), have been accommodated."

2) In the shorter term, the Marina will be pedestrianised.

"The Marina roadway running alongside the River Lee will be pedestrianised and transformed into a wide promenade for walkers, joggers and cyclists."
"Strategy: Spaces are to be designed primarily for pedestrians, with cars behaving as guests."

3) The area on the Marina between the Centre Park Road and the ESB power station is to be re-developed. Many of you will know as the area where the Cork BHAA HSE 4 mile race finishes. At the moment, it's a bit of a cul-de-sac but once the direct pedestrian link to the City Centre is established, this section will be used a lot more.

Top...Current view, Bottom..Post development

4) New jogging track?? I'm not sure if this is just a concept or if it will make it into the final plans. See purple dots below...

"A new pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure is to be developed for the new users of the park. The aim is to provide for all kind of users from pedestrians, joggers, cyclists and others and to offer a wide variety of experiences through the park, from easily accessible multifunctional routes, to more challenging adventure trails. Some general starting points for the Marina Park’s new pavement infrastructure include the following.

Jogging track
Several distances indicated along the route and fitted with electronic timers."

5) Old Railway Line.....There will also be some cleaning of the surrounding areas and better lighting at the Marina end (See #3 on map).

"THE OLD RAILWAY LINE...The railway line is lined with sporadic informal plantings of tree stands. Many of the trees are partially covered in ivy and enclose the railway route with undergrowth making it unsafe to use in the evenings and blocking views into the surrounding park. We propose to improve the experience of this walkway by removing the ivy and undergrowth along the top of the railway line to improve visibility to the surrounding areas of the park and to make the route better for users"

6) Parking and Lighting......The most immediate impact is likely to be better parking and better lighting at night in some areas. There are no plans to light up all of the Marina because of the potential effects on wildlife.

In the long term, the artists impression below shows what the area might look like. There is a new bridge planned across the River Lee which will connect the Marina with Tivoli. This will have a major impact for runners living in Mayfield, Montenotte and Tivoli as it will give them direct access to the Mahon-Blackrock loop.

The Centre Park road will become much busier and it's almost certain that the usual 5k race loop that is used at present (eg. John Buckley Sports 5k) will be a thing of the past. It won't mean that races can't be held there, just that a new route that most likely takes in the old railway line.

All of that is of course very much in the future. The new bridge will block all cargo ships and the Port of Cork will have to be moved out to Ringaskiddy before anything can happen.

Further info...
1) The Marina Park Master Plan can be seen HERE (Note that it's 59MB!)
2) The Evening Echo has an article HERE


Anonymous said...

Sounds great even some of the smaller things that you often see in park in European cities such as distance markers, dedicated paths, decent lighting and water fountains will be a huge benefit to runners and will be great for the area. Sounds like they're going down the right route!

rom said...

Lets hope its not as wasteful as their PDF size. 10MB version here

Burnsy said...

A shot in the arm for Cork from a leisure and recreation point of view - Cork has, without being too hard on the city, has lagged behind its European counterparts for decades - the latest concrete plans will raise Cork's leisure and recreation offering. Well done to the stakeholders who have put their energies behind this.