Clontarf to Connolly cycle track and bus lane project to cost €62m

Project was priced at €20m three years ago but 'public realm upgrades' drove costs up

Artist’s impression of the project showing the view towards Fairview

Artist’s impression of the project showing the view towards Fairview

 

A 6km cycle track, bus lane and water mains project between Clontarf and Connolly Station, priced at €20 million three years ago, is to go ahead at a cost of €62 million.

A segregated cycle route, to connect the city centre with the Dublin Bay cycle path that runs along the coast from Clontarf to Sutton, was proposed a decade ago at an estimated cost of €7 million.

However, the project was beset by delays and underwent several redesigns, including one necessitated by protests in 2017 over plans to cut down 50 trees in Fairview Park. More than 15,000 people signed an online petition seeking the retention of the trees, some of which were planted in 1908. Dublin City Council subsequently amended its plans to save 42 of the trees.

In February 2019, the council published revised costs of €20 million following design changes and the decision to include extensive water mains replacement and new sewerage systems in the project, as well as a link through Fairview Park as part of the Tolka Valley greenway.

Artist’s impression of project showing the North Strand Road-East Wall junction
Artist’s impression of project showing the North Strand Road-East Wall junction

Redesign

In June 2020, the council said it intended to seek contractors for the project within weeks with construction to start in early 2021.

However, in October 2020 it said it had to again redesign the scheme due to a failure to reach funding agreements with Irish Water and the refusal of the National Transport Authority (NTA) to sanction bus diversions during construction. The council said at the time the NTA has asked it to “de-scope all water main renewals from the project” which would require redesigns.

On Friday, the council said the project would now go ahead, with the inclusion of the water mains work, but at a cost of €62 million.

The project will include 5.4km of bus lanes, 6km of cycle tracks and 8km of footpaths as well as the replacement of 6km of old water mains. The project is being funded by the NTA and Irish Water. A €42 million construction contract has been awarded to Clonmel Enterprises Ltd and work is scheduled for completion by March 2024.

The costs had increased from €20 million to €62 million due to “enhanced streetscape, additional planting and upgrades of the public realm throughout the scheme”, the council said. The project incorporated “major upgrades of 6km of water mains and part of the Tolka Valley greenway”, it added.

The cycle route was first proposed in 2012 as a two-way track running on the east side of the road only. However, in 2015, the council’s traffic department said this would not be feasible and instead, drew up plans for paths on both sides of the road.