Dublin Port to soften its edges with greenway, greenery, and cycle route linking Tolka to Liffey

— More images of the plan mainly covering the port’s boundary on East Wall Road.

Dublin Port today said that it is planning a project along its boundary on East Wall Road and along Bond Road to add greenery and a walking and cycle route inside port lands.

The Liffey-Tolka Project will link to the already planned Tolka Estuary Greenway which will run from East Point Business Park along the northern edge of the port beside the River Tolka Estuary (with a view towards Clontart).

The port said today that construction of the 3.2km greenway will be built over years. Phase 1 of 1.9km will start next month and works to be completed by Spring 2022. Phase 2 of 1.3 km is to be constructed over the following five years as part of large port infrastructure projects to deliver additional freight capacity at the eastern end of Dublin Port.

The Liffey-Tolka Project will run from the greenway and business park to North Wall Quay — a route of 1.4 km linking the River Liffey with the Tolka Estuary through Dublin Port lands on the east side of East Wall Road.

Dublin Port Company said that it will apply to Dublin City Council for planning permission for Grafton Architect’s design for the Liffey-Tolka Project by April 2021 with a target to commence construction by September 2021 and to complete the works by the third quarter of 2022.

Dublin Port’s Liffey-Tolka Project is planned to be within port land on the east side of East Wall Road, while IrishCycle.com understands Dublin City Council is looking to install a cycle path on the west side of East Wall Wall — a cross-section graphic (shown directly below) for the Dublin Port project may pre-date or just not show the council’s plan.

It’s possible both projects will go ahead — in some of the most cycling-friendly international cities, it’s seen as best practice to have two-way cycle paths on both sides of larger roads, especially where routes branch off in different directions.

Dublin Port said the new route will include a dedicated bridge (pictured below) for walking and cycling over Promenade Road, a dual carriageway which links Dublin Port to the Dublin Port Tunnel.

In a statement today, Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive of Dublin Port Company, said: “Delivering Masterplan 2040 is very complex and our focus to date has been on projects which deliver additional freight capacity. However, an equally important, albeit smaller part, of our Masterplan is integrating Dublin Port with Dublin City.

O’Reilly said: “Dublin Port is not going anywhere, and we are committed to developing nationally important port infrastructure in accordance with the principles of proper planning and sustainable development. This requires us not only to cater for the needs of cargo and commerce; we must also create real gain for the citizens of Dublin,” he said.

“Within two years, we will have completed a dedicated cycle network throughout Dublin Port and along most of the Port’s perimeter.  Doing this in a small but extremely busy port requires great design and we are delighted to be working with Grafton Architects as we take on a unique challenge to integrate Dublin Port with Dublin City,” he said.

Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects’ said: “An influential and important exhibition took place at The Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2010 with the title Small Scale: Big Change. The architectural projects exhibited were transformative in their effect rather than their size and highlighted the capacity for incisive creative thinking to open up new possibilities within communities and cities.

“The Liffey-Tolka Project to connect the River Liffey to the Tolka Estuary, along East Wall Road and Bond Road is not so small but, at the scale of the City it might be considered to be.  However, its transformative effect will be immense,” she said.

McNamara said that the currently hostile East Wall Road will become a “linear Civic Space” and this “will form a new sense of entry to the City when travelling from the North and from the Dublin Port Tunnel.”

McNamara added: “The drama, scale and animation of the Port will be revealed, joining up with the life of the City. The visual barrier which currently separates these two interdependent worlds will disappear. The pavement area will increase from a two metre width to twelve metres, offering a safe pleasurable landscaped space for people to walk or cycle. This new ribbon of space, bridging over Promenade Road, will connect the East Coast Trail and Dublin Port’s Tolka Estuary Greenway to the Liffey, terminating in a sunny public space on the water’s edge. This will be a new Urban Amenity for day to day use and for enjoyment in times of leisure.”

MORE: Details on Liffey to Tolka (PDF)

I am editor of IrishCycle.com and have reported on and commented on cycling in Ireland for over a decade. My background is in journalism -- I have a BA in Journalism from DCU and HDip in Print Journalism from BCFE. I wrote about cycling for national newspapers, and then started CyclingInDublin.com for overflow stories. Later the website was re-branded to reflect a more national focus.

2 Comments

  1. Great news! Any idea on the status of the section of the proposed Tolka Estuary Greenway along East Point Business Park? The owners agreed to it being included in the 2016 planning application but I have heard nothing since.

  2. Great news, particularly for those of us living in this area. Thanks for the update, Cian!

    It’s commendable to see a very accomplished architectural practice commissioned and commitment made to major investment – the Promenade Road bridge. Will be watching closely to see that investment being put in place.

    Not much detail is shown in the documentation you’ve linked to, Cian – will be very interesting to see how exactly those junctions work, in form and signal timing etc. A big concern is obviously that Council’s plan for a ped/ cycle bridge parallel to East Link envisage their bridge on the city/ upstream/ west side.

    So cyclists wanting to cross the Liffey will need to get from the Port side of East Wall Road to the city side. The last page of the PDF shows what to me might look like a tunnel there, but, again, more info is needed. The lethal 3 Arena junction must be made safe before more lives are lost and injuries caused by motor traffic there.

    Has to be said, though, that a high-quality adjacent campshires plaza next to East Link would be a wonderful addition to this neighbourhood, given the quality of public space generally in North Docklands. Just need to be able to access it safely!

    One to watch, for me anyhow…. thanks again, Cian.

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