Murphy Ireland were contracted by Fingal County Council to construct the Baldoyle to Portmarnock Walking and Cycling Route in June 2019.
The Baldoyle to Portmarnock project is part of the larger Sutton to Sandycove (S2S) cycleway scheme. The site forms part of the Baldoyle Bay special area of conservation (SAC) which features significant mudflats, sandflats and salt meadows.
The site is bordered by the lagoonal waters of the Baldoyle Estuary, opening into the Irish Sea to the east; and by agricultural and park land to the west. It is mainly a green-field site with one road crossing at the R123 Moyne Road and a river crossing at the Mayne River a small distance to the south. A pumping station and associated underground sewer pipes are located between Moyne Road and Mayne River. The site is generally grassed with a few areas of overgrowth.
The project included the construction of:
A primary challenge on this project was working around an existing road in a congested area, where access is very tight and there are a lot of existing services. Effective traffic management was therefore an important aspect of managing the project and in this regard, Murphy worked closely with Fingal County Council’s roads and water departments.
Another challenge was installing a new bridge right beside a heritage listed stone bridge, which had to be conserved. This issue was managed by ensuring that the team were fully aware of the need to protect the bridge during works.
Works commenced in July 2019 and were completed by May 2020. The project involved delivery of almost 2km of cycle track and pedestrian footpath through mainly green-field land. The greenway comprises a 2m wide footpath, 1m wide verge and 3m wide cycle-way, keeping separate zones for cyclists and pedestrians. Drainage, ducting and associated works were also undertaken. An extensive length of ducting was installed (c.20,000m) to facilitate street lighting, ESB and communication services.
Murphy worked closely with Fingal County Council’s parks department to manage the SAC areas. Some parts of the site contained rare species of seeds and that needed to be conserved.
This was done by stripping the turf and saving it for reuse on the job. This element of the project was carried out in consultation with the relevant bodies. In addition to working closely with our subcontractors (including Hilliard Ground Engineering, Stanley Asphalt, Alread Electrical and Conway Formwork) Murphy fabricated handrails and bridge parapets for the project at our in-house steel fabrication facility in Newbridge, Co. Kildare. This was one efficiency of many, including slip-forming rather than pre-casting the kerbs. Working closely with the designer and client meant that challenges were addressed in collaboration, such as a redesign of piles which arose at the start of the job.
■ Works within Baldoyle Bay special area of conservation (SAC)
■ Approximately 1800m of cycle track and pedestrian footpath
■ Construction of pedestrian crossings including raised tables, overlay of existing pavements, new kerbs and dropped kerbs
■ Construction of a pedestrian and cycle bridge over the Mayne River
■ Associated drainage, earthworks, public lighting, accommodation works, boundary treatments, traffic signals, landscaping, signs, road markings, provision of new utilities and diversion/protection of existing utilities