Waterford County Council is holding public consultation for a 31km greenway between the seaside town of Dungarvan and Kilmeaden, south of Waterford City.
The Deise Greenway group, which is pushing for a greenway over the full Waterford-Dungarvan railway route, said the news was “another historic day in the Deise Greenway’s expansion”.
The group said on its Facebook page that Waterford County Council publishing the plans for the development of the Dungarvan to Kilmeaden section “is a significant step towards the completion of your 48 kilometre, car-free Greenway.”
The last train services ran in the early 1980s, while the tracks were taken up in 1990s. However the route has mostly stayed intact and in State ownership.
The section at planning – which is due to be around 4 meters wide – includes a tunnel of 386 metres in length, 15 level crossings on the route of minor roads, 3 crossings on the N25, and 20 bridges. Most of the bridges are single arch, while there are three large structures including a near 100 meter steel bridge and two stone viaducts.
Planning files for project say that the railway ballast – large gravel – remains in place for the majority of the rail line – only “removed or covered over in limited qualities where there have been unauthorised encroachments on the line”.
The document also says that all “existing bridges and viaducts are structurally sound, together with a single tunnel at Ballyvoyle.”
However it notes that “the continuity of the railway line has been lost at three locations where the N25 dissects it. Furthermore, at level crossings where there is an occupied railway cottage, the railway line has been incorporated into the gardens of the properties.”
The project will include railings at bridges and viaducts, fences to secure the route, privacy screens at houses, road improvements at level crossings, and bat-sensitive lighting in the tunnel.
The Part 8 planning files can be viewed on Waterford County Council’s website or at their offices in Dungarvan and the Kilmacthomas Branch Library. See here for details.
Submissions or observations are to be made before 4pm March 14, 2014.