Roughan & O’Donovan (ROD) is pleased to report that Waterford’s Metropolitan Council has granted formal planning approval for three of the six schemes within the Waterford North Quays Infrastructure project, namely, the Rock Stabilisation scheme; the North Quays SDZ Access Infrastructure scheme; and the Transport Hub.
In a related development, An Bord Pleanála has this week granted approval for the River Suir Sustainable Transport Bridge.
These decisions mark a significant step forward for the project and represent a major achievement for ROD, who are undertaking the planning, design, employer’s representative during construction and handover of the project on behalf of Waterford City & County Council.
River Suir Sustainable Transport Bridge
The 207m five span bridge across the River Suir Special Area of Conservation (SAC) is designed to accommodate pedestrians, cyclists and public transport, and will incorporate an opening centre span to allow river traffic through.
The bridge will connect Waterford’s South Quays to the North Quays Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) and through to the new transport hub on the North Quays.
The integrated multi-modal transport hub in the centre of the North Quays site will be the first fully covered transport interchange hub between rail, bus, car, cycling and pedestrian users in Ireland.
It will provide a new train station to replace the existing Plunkett Station; a bus set down area; short-term parking facilities; and a link with the proposed Waterford to New Ross Greenway, currently being developed by Kilkenny County Council.
These developments will support a modal shift towards walking, cycling and public transport and act as a catalyst for the sustainable development of the city to the north of the river.
Access Infrastructure scheme
The Access Infrastructure scheme consists of two new road bridges over the rail line, which will enable traffic to access the North Quays site from the surrounding road network, provide extensive road improvements and a realignment of the existing roads.
A third road bridge over the old New Ross railway line will facilitate the Waterford to New Ross Greenway, the route of which is being threaded through the eastern access bridge, allowing it to connect directly to the proposed transport hub and the SDZ site.
Rock Stabilisation scheme
The Rock Stabilisation scheme is designed to prevent or control the risk of a future rock collapse from the 400m long cliff running alongside the section of rail line, facilitating the relocation of the existing Plunkett Station to the new transport hub.
Reaction to the news
Waterford City and County Council Chief Executive, Michael Walsh, welcomed the latest developments, saying:
The positive decision by An Bord Pleanála, the approval of the Part 8 Planning for the Transport Hub by the Metropolitan Council and the funding approvals for the Greenway extension into the City and for the Kilkenny Greenway will dramatically improve sustainable transport in the City and the delivery of its long-term development objectives.
With the central government having made a commitment to fund the project over the next three to four years, the detailed design of the four schemes will now progress at pace.
Tendering for construction is expected in Q2 2020.