Grafton St repaving in pink and grey to cost €2.5m


DUBLIN’S PRINCIPAL shopping street, Grafton Street, is to be repaved in grey and pink granite by Dublin City Council at a cost of approximately €2.5 million.

The work, which will see the surface of the entire street dug up and the existing red-brick paving removed, is expected to take about a year to complete. It is due to get under way next January.

The council says the Eurobrick paving, which was laid on the pedestrianised street in the mid- 1980s, has deteriorated badly to the point where it requires repair on an almost daily basis.

“The replacement of its existing paving material is an imperative for the street and the city,” councillors were told last night.

The work will involve the removal of the existing pavement for the length of the street from the junction of Nassau Street and Suffolk Street, just in front of the Molly Malone Statue, to St Stephen’s Green North. The paving will be stripped back to the building line at each side of the street. All “street furniture” such as bins, bollards and poles will be removed and replaced.

The new paving should be “calm and understated in nature” the council says. The background colour will be a mid-grey with a “way-finding path” of dark grey stone off the central roadway on one side to provide an obstruction-free route along the street.

Street junctions will be marked along the street with a light pink granite square set into a darker pink apron. Entrances to small side streets are marked with pink granite threshold paving and the shopfronts will be edged with a margin of pink granite setts.

Councillors last night approved the initiation of the plans but raised concerns that the works would have a serious impact on the use of the street.

The work will be undertaken on a phased basis to minimise disruption for businesses, the council says. The new paving and street furniture will also provide protection to existing private under-street cellars from the weight of delivery vehicles and will allow for street maintenance by mechanised street-cleaning vehicles.

The work is to be the first in a series of improvements for the area which the council has dubbed the Grafton Street quarter.

The council plans to spend a further €9.5 million by the end of 2014 on improvements to other streets surrounding Grafton Street. Plans for the repaving come more than five years after the council designated Grafton Street as an architectural conservation area.

The designation serves to protect the appearance of the street by specifying shopfront design and the material used in the maintenance of old buildings and in new developments.

Free wi-fi: Councillors back plans:

Dublin City councillors have approved plans for the provision of free outdoor wireless internet services at a number of locations throughout the city.

The free Wi-Fi would be available in eight to 10 parks and squares through a private sector partner which would deliver and operate the service as a “concessionaire” to the council.

This would allow the council to abide by State aid rules by keeping total cost borne by the local authorities below €200,000 over three years.

The council plans to tender the concession this week, to have the system operational by the summer.