— Route planned since 2012 looks likely to start construction next year.
— Councillors welcome approval of business case.
Dublin’s planned Clontarf to City Centre cycle route will start construction next year subject to Dublin City Council confirming with the preferred bidder that a proposed tender price issued in May 2021 remains valid.
The 2.7km route is to cost at least €28 million — which is broadly in line with the cost of major cycle routes in London.
The project, now named Clontarf to City Centre Cycle & Bus Priority Project, includes cycle paths, bus priority, footpath renewal and new greenery along the main route on Amiens Street (only north of Talbot Street), North Strand Road, Fairview, and the Clontart Road up to the S2S coastal route.
It also includes a new shared path inside Fairview Park along the road inside and a shared path within the park along the River Tolka within the park.
The current route is seen as hostile to cycling, but, despite this, pre-pandemic traffic counts showed that at peak times it the route is one of the busiest for cyclists entering into the city centre. Because of this, an upgrade of the cycle route has been planned for a decade.
The project — like many in Dublin City Council area — has been plagued by delays. In January 2021 an undated to councillors said “Construction is planned to commence in July 2021.” The start of construction is now set back to next year.
Once started, construction is expected to take between 18 to 21 months. For sections of the routes, the traffic management plan for the construction works includes detouring motorists in one direction away from the route, while maintaining bus lanes in both directions. Dublin City Council had proposed to install a temporary two-way cycle path to keep cyclists safe during the works but this was vetoed by the National Transport Authority.
Cllr Naoise O’Muirí (FG) said: “Absolutely delighted to see the Clontarf to Amiens St cycleway approved for construction – going to be an absolutely great piece of infrastructure – thanks to all the @DubCityCouncil engineers & officials for their work thus far #FairviewCycleway.”
Cllr Donna Cooney (Greens) said: “Great #Christmas news #Clontarf to City Cycleway finally due to start. last Friday (17th Dec 2021), the board of the National Transport Authority approved the Final Business Case for the project, thereby giving DCC approval to award the construction contract. A €28m investment.”
In an email to the consultative committee for the project, Padraig O’Brien, project manager, said: “It’s been a while since I emailed you and I apologise for the delay. Since my last message, the project team have been working on the preparation of the Final Business Case for the project. This required preparation of a total project cost estimate, which includes provision for risks and contingencies during the construction stage.”
He said: “Following review of the Final Business Case in November 2021, DCCs [Dublin City Council’s] Corporate Project Governance Board issued approval to proceed to construction, subject to funding approval being confirmed by the National Transport Authority. Finally, just last Friday (17th December 2021), the board of the National Transport Authority approved the Final Business Case for the project, thereby giving DCC approval to award the construction contract.“
“We therefore expect to award the construction contract in January 2022, subject to the following: Confirmation from the preferred bidder that the tender price they proposed in May 2021 remains valid. Due to recent price inflation in the construction sector, the Office of Government Procurement has recommended that such confirmation be requested from tenderers prior to awarding contracts,” said O’Brien.
He said that the construction contract signing would also be subject to the finalisation of legal documentation and the finalisation of agreements with third party stakeholders, such as Irish Rail and Irish Water.
O’Brien said that in November the council decided to hold off on distributing the first project information leaflet until it was confirmed that the project would be proceeding to construction.
He added: “As this has now come to pass, we intend to distribute this information leaflet in early January. We also intend to simultaneously put key project drawings on display in both Charleville Mall and Marino libraries. The C2CC Project website will also be updated to make it easier to view the project designs along different sections of the route, and photomontages will also be made available.”