The rejuvenation of Ireland's youngest town continues with public realm improvement works to the Quay Street and Harbour area set to commence
The commencement of work next Monday by Uisce Éireann marks another step in the delivery of projects under the €50m Balbriggan Regeneration project.
The upgrading of the Quay Street pumping station and ancillary works will be quickly followed in January by the public realm improvement works to the Quay Street and Harbour area on both sides of the viaduct which will create a premier visitor destination along Balbriggan’s Beach and coastline.
The Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Adrian Henchy, said: “It is good to see the various regeneration projects in Balbriggan progressing and, when completed, they will greatly enhance the town centre and make it a destination space for residents and visitors alike.”
The Uisce Éireann works will assist in meeting current demand and supporting the protection of the local environment as well as increasing capacity to meet future growth and development.
The objective of the public realm improvement works in the Quay Street and Harbour area is to transform both sides of the viaduct to a premier visitor destination along Balbriggan’s Beach and coastline. The project will include enhancement works to the River Bracken and increased seating, green and play spaces as well as the redesign of parking and traffic flows. The change of use of the former RNLI Boathouse and the development of new Harbour buildings will allow for increased social and commercial activity as well as new public amenities which will include public toilets and changing places.
The Our Balbriggan Leadership Group, which was formed at the outset of the regeneration programme and is chaired by Professor Brian MacCraith, is playing a key role in helping guide the town’s rejuvenation plan.
Other projects in the town centre also making progress. With the demolition of 14 Bridge Street now completed, landscapers have been appointed and work is due to commence this month on a pocket park at this location. Annexes and outbuildings to the rear of 6a – 12 Bridge Street (De Bruns) are set to be demolished shortly.
The appointment of an Integrated Design Team will consider the next stages of development at this location. The plan is to link Millpond Park to a new park entrance at 14 Bridge Street which will facilitate a pedestrian and cycling route down to the transformed Quay Street and Harbour area. The public consultation process in relation to the plans for the refurbishment of 2-4 Dublin Street has been completed and an application for Part VIII planning permission will be brought before the October meeting of Fingal County Council. The plan is to convert this building into a Creative Hub with workspaces that will support STEAM and Arts activities. Improvement Works are expected to conclude in September to the West and East Piers. These works have seen the installation of water taps, waste collection areas, containers, bins, ladders, low level electrical lighting and seating. This is in advance of the longer-term strategy to bring the Harbour and Pier into broader use for all of the Balbriggan community and the surrounding areas. The Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, AnnMarie Farrelly, said: “Major projects take time to deliver but we are now seeing some of them reaching important milestones in the next few months including the commencement of construction. We remain committed to delivering the regeneration plan and I would like to thank the Balbriggan Local Electoral Area councillors and the residents and businesses of Balbriggan for their ongoing support.”
Elsewhere in the town, work on the pedestrian and cycleway on the Harry Reynolds Road, which is being fully funded by the National Transport Authority, commenced in July and is progressing and is due to be completed in the second half of 2024. When completed the route will make travelling by Active Travel in Balbriggan safer and more convenient, particularly for children, older people and less experienced cyclists.
Those walking or cycling in the town will not be affected by the closure of Quay Street carpark from Monday as pedestrian and cycling access through the area will be maintained. There are many walking routes and ample bike parking throughout Balbriggan to facilitate trips to the shops, library, cafes and other places as a quick and easy option to driving and there is also a local bus service operated by Bus Eireann.
Motorists affected by the closure have the option of using the free Council carparks at Bath Road and Bremore Castle which have 300 spaces between them. There will be improvement works over the next few weeks at the Bath Road car park to facilitate the increase usage following the closure of Quay Street carpark.
There are also 441 pay and display spaces in and around the town centre. On-street parking costs €1.20 per hour from 8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday, with free parking on Sunday. Declan Ryan, Town Regeneration Officer with Fingal County Council, said: “The loss of Quay Street carpark is necessary to facilitate the implementation of the Balbriggan Rejuvenation Plan and the upgrading of the Quay Street Pumping Station. Between public and private parking locations there remains over 1,300 car parking spaces within a 15-minute walk of Quay Street, so there is plenty of capacity available.”