Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: New walkway at Dunkettle Interchange promises to open up new routes

Friday, July 17, 2020

New walkway at Dunkettle Interchange promises to open up new routes

Update: July 2020 - I first posted about this new pathway at the Dunkettle Interchange back in September of 2019. While the plans have changed slightly, work has been proceeding on it in the meantime.

This week, they installed a new pedestrian bridge over the railway line...

 This will connect into the new Greenway which will go from here to Carrigtwohill and it will also connect to Little Island.

In running terms, this will open up a lot more safe routes for people living in Mayfield, Glanmire and Little Island.

More info below....

Much has been written in the local press recently about the new proposed Dunkettle Interchange and how it has gone back out to tender. The suggested completion date for this project is now 2023.

However in all the fuss about the delay, one part of the project that didn't get much attention is a new slip road and pathway. This is going ahead straight away and it will have a positive impact for many pedestrians, runners and cyclists in the area. It will also probably have a bearing on the annual Cork to Cobh 15 mile road race.

The Red line shows the route of the new slip road which will connect the western side of the Dunkettle Interchange to the M8 Dublin road. This means that any vehicles coming out of Cork City will be able avoid the Dunkettle Interchange and join the M8 going north.

An aerial view of the location of this new slip road is shown below...

The Green line in the map at the top of the post shows the new path which will run alongside this new slip road. This will go from the Dunkettle Roundabout to the L2998 road which runs underneath the M8. The plans show that it will be 3-4 metres in width.

 This is where the new slip road will start...

This is the route of the new slip road and path as seen from the M8....

This is the view of the bridge on the existing M8. The new slip road will have joined the M8 before this point while the new pathway will turn away to the left...

 The path will then come out on a quiet cul-de-sac to join the L2998...

Connecting Communities.... At present, the Jack Lynch Tunnel and the Dunkettle Interchange effectively cuts off Little Island from the City for pedestrians, runners and cyclists. The are no footpaths or cycle lanes for going from East to West across it.

The only safe option if you could call it that is to take a detour via Glanmire. This takes in a pretty reasonable hill on the L2998 and the road doesn't have any hard shoulders.

The new route shown below in Red is much safer and it takes about 1.5 miles off the detour.

There is a slightly hillier route to the north of the old main road which might be more suitable for runners and pedestrians wanting to access the new path from Little Island.

It also opens up the possibility of new routes for runners in Mayfield, Tivoli, Ballyvolane, Glanmire and Little Island. An example of a new 6.7 mile loop from Glanmire is shown below. This could be extended to take in some of the quiet country roads up around Caherlag and north of Glounthaune.

Cork to Cobh 15 mile road race.... The annual Cork BHAA Cork to Cobh 15 mile road race is held every year around the start of October and it currently crosses over the Dunkettle Interchange.

Once the new pathway is in place, I would imagine that this will be used instead. The old Cork to Cobh route is shown below in Green while the new alternative route is shown in Pink...

Considering how much disruption there will be with the building of the new Dunkettle Interchange over the next few years, the new route should allow the Cork to Cobh race to continue unhindered as it will be north of the proposed works.

Just looking at the map above, the newer route looks shorter than the old route so that will probably mean pushing back the start line in the city.

Interesting times ahead!

Some links for more info...
1) Website for the Dunkettle Interchange project
2) Evening Echo article on the new slip road


Donal O'Donoghue said...

A new footpath leading to a road that has *no* footpath ?
That's not so useful.
For runners, there is a 1km gap in footpath from Dunkettle Roundabout to where the Janssen & FMC races start in Little Island.

John Desmond said...

Donal, the new path has nothing to do with the western side of Little Island.

Donal O'Donoghue said...

Finally, two years later, this new pedestrian bridge has opened. It is simply parallel to the existing Burys' bridge over the Cork-Cobh railway, which is now exclusively for vehicles.
This new bridge can be used by pedestrians to access a new motorway-style bridge over the east-west N25 (Cork to Waterford). The south end of this new road is at a new roundabout, on the R623 - between BASF/Cognis/Henkel, and the Punch Industries site - near where the BHAA would start/finish their 5k route.
There is perhaps 1km of tarmac laid on the Glounthaune greenway, which reaches almost as far as the Island Gate pub/restaurant now.
This opens up the possibility of running a complete circuit race, from Little Island, on the R623, to Rockgrove on L3004 to North Esk, and over this new bridge/pathway.