A delay in starting construction on the Royal Canal Greenway in Dublin City by up to 11 months is “unacceptable” a local councillor has said.
Sections of the route in the Dublin City Council area are now put back until “Quarter 2 or early Quarter 3 of 2018” — the same sections were due to see work starting in September and November of last year.
“With regards to Phases 2 and 3, I feel that the goal posts seem to be changing all of the time with indicative construction start dates constantly being put back,” said Cllr Ray McAdam (FG).
The route, while a greenway, will also function as a commuter cycling route with links from Kildare into Dublin 15 and from the north-western Dublin suburb areas of Blanchardstown and Castleknock to Ashtown, Glasnevin, Phibsboro, Drumcondra, the city centre and the Docklands.
He added: “These delays are unacceptable as I know that this project has much potential and benefit for cyclists, for pedestrians and the communities in which the greenway will be located.”
“I do welcome, however, the fact that work on Phase 4 between Cross Guns Bridge and Ashtown will be advanced in 2018. This is good news as the advancement of the Royal Canal Greenway is a key objective of the Phibsborough Environmental Improvement Plan which I have also been working on with local residents,” Cllr McAdam.
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The route is also part of the Dublin to Galway Greenway — the route is stalled west of Athlone, but most of the sections between Dublin and Athlone are finish or progressing to construction.
Last week in a council reply to Cllr McAdam, Dublin City Council said: “Detailed design and production of tender documents has been completed for Phase 2 of the Royal Canal Greenway. These documents are due to be issued to the tendering contractors week commencing 8th January 2018.”
The council said: “Commencement of construction will be dictated by the successful outcome of the tender procedure and also the securing of a third party approval agreement with Irish Rail. Currently this agreement cannot be finalised until the Commission for Railway Regulation have completed their review, we are hopeful however that the project will commence on site in Quarter 2 or early Quarter 3 of 2018.”
“Detailed design of Phase 3 has been completed and draft tender documents have been prepared and have been checked by the NTA & DCC. Following completion of updates and securing of agreements with Waterways Ireland and Irish Rail, it is our aim that this phase will also proceed to tender in Quarter 1 and commence on site in Q3 2018,” the council added.
“The NTA have advised us that we may now proceed with the detailed design of phase 4 of the project. We are currently preparing tender documentation for the procurement of a Consultant. We envisage that this process will be completed by the end of Q1 and that detailed design & tender preparation will follow and will be completed by end of Q4 2018.”
As we reported last year, the reasoning for the delay was said to include the stalemate in establishing a Northern Ireland government at Stormont which was said to slow the process even further as projects on Waterways Ireland lands are usually approved by the North South Ministerial Council. Waterways Ireland, which looks after canals on the island of Ireland.