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.
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.
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, a