Construction of the Sutton to Sandycove cycleway (S2S) around Dublin Bay is to get under way this summer more than a decade since planning began.
Dublin City Council is seeking contractors to build the first 2km section of the route, from the Wooden Bridge to Causeway Road in Clontarf, at a cost expected to be in excess of €5 million. Work is due to get under way in the coming months and be completed in 16 months.
The full S2S route crosses three local authority boundaries and is likely to take several years. Once complete, it will provide a 22km continuous off-road cycle route around the bay and would be one of the longest coastal promenades in Europe.
The section now out to tender for construction will close the 2km gap in the current promenade and cycle path from Clontarf to Sutton. The path was put in place by the city council in the early 1990s but a gap was left between the Causeway and the Wooden Bridge because no solution could be found to building on the environmentally sensitive lagoon.
As a result, cyclists heading south must leave the off-road path at the traffic lights at the Wooden Bridge and use the on-road cycle path on Clontarf Road which is in extremely poor repair and frequently occupied by parked cars. Cyclists can return to the path 300m short of the causeway, but must cross two lanes of traffic at a point not governed by signals.
A plan was finalised in 2008 which involved a pile-supported promenade and cable-stay bridging out over the lagoon. Its cost was up to €14 million, or €7 million per kilometre, and it was never implemented.
Road width reduction
The new scheme will cost less than half that and will involve no construction over the lagoon. Instead the road will be reduced to a three-metre width in each direction. The council said this is consistent with National Roads Authority guidelines and will not cause traffic delays. The contract will also involve footpath and road resurfacing, sea-wall repairs, and 2km of trunk watermain . The old tram shelter on Clontarf Road will be rebuilt.