Troubled waters for Liffey bridge

by Gazette Reporter

A proposal to build a pedestrian bridge over the River Liffey as part of a masterplan for St Catherine’s Park has been removed from plans.
The pedestrian and cycle bridge was included in the masterplan for the park, located along the northern banks of the river Liffey near Lucan and Leixlip, when it first went out on public display last November.
The plan is on display again after Fingal County Council (FCC) failed to include an environmental impact assessment, required by the planning and development amendment regulations. The proposal to build a new pedestrian bridge over the River Liffey is not now included.
According to Green Party representative Roderic O’Gorman, this major proposal has been removed due to lack of funding. He is now calling on FCC to seek funding for the pedestrian and cycle bridge, and help promote cycle tourism in the Dublin West area.
“In the new public consultation document published this year, no reference is made to a pedestrian bridge. When I enquired why the bridge was omitted from the more recent consultation, FCC confirmed that this decision was made due to a lack of available funding sources.
“I’m calling on FCC to seek funding from Government sources to finance this bridge. The council has already been successful in obtaining funding from the Department of Transport to finance improvements along the Royal Canal between Blanchardstown and Ashtown,” O’Gorman said.
In response to O’Gorman’s call, a spokesperson for FCC said it’s not as straightforward as simply a matter of funding to build a pedestrian bridge.
“Due to various constraints such as the nature conservation designation, protected historical features, flooding and use of the area by canoeists, a feasibility study is required to assess whether a pedestrian bridge can be built near the weir in St Catherine’s Park. At this time, funding for this feasibility study is not available. Without knowing whether a bridge can be built at that location or not, it was decided to remove this item from the masterplan,” the spokesperson added.
The proposed master plan includes a children’s playground, a BMX track, a cricket pitch, a par-3 golf course, a coffee shop and the restoration of historical buildings.
Plans and particulars are available for inspection at Fingal Offices, Grove Road, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15 and Blanchardstown Library. Residents have until April 25 to make submissions and observations. See www.fingalcoco.ie for further information.

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