(Image Source: Limerick Leader)

Construction work on the €9.1m revitalisation of Limerick’s O’Connell Street is to proceed despite level 5 restrictions following a review of “critical transport infrastructure projects” in the city.

On-site works had been due to start in January but had been halted due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Further to consultation at departmental level and with project funders, Limerick City and County Council has determined it is now appropriate to proceed with the works in accordance with the relevant legislation on Covid 19 as projects involving “the repair, maintenance and construction of critical transport and utility infrastructure” are deemed essential construction work.

The O’Connell Street revitalisation project involves the reconstruction of Limerick’s main street to expand pedestrian facilities and provide dedicated cycling and public transport infrastructure.

Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Michael Collins welcomed the news, hailing it “a very welcome development for all of Limerick”.

It will deliver huge improvements to the attractiveness of our city as a place to live, work and visit,” he said.

Mayor Collins said the project is particularly important for city centre businesses who will be re-opening their doors in the coming months.

“I know there has been lots of preparatory work and project planning on-going in the background but now the contractor can mobilise and begin the on-site stage.”

“I’m assured that Limerick City and County Council will liaise with the appointed contractor to ensure a safe return to work and compliance with all public health requirements as these works begin.”

The O’Connell Street revitalisation project covers the area between the junctions with Denmark Street/ Arthur’s Quay and Cecil Street/ Lower Cecil Street in Limerick city centre.

The overarching aim of the project is to provide “a high-quality public realm” befitting O’Connell Street’s status as Limerick’s primary street.

As part of the project, the width of traffic lanes will be reduced to a maximum of three metres and one traffic lane will be converted to a bus lane.

Thirty-eight car parking spaces are being removed to provide more space for pedestrians.

Wider footpaths will be developed to facilitate people gathering, on-street trading, and “spill out zones” from shops and cafés on the street, while dedicated cycle lanes will be added to facilitate “active travel”.

O’Connell Street will also see the addition of seating areas, trees, planting, bicycle stands, and lighting, as well as features such as sculptures, pedestrian plazas and water installations.

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Credit: Nicole Glennon | Irish Examiner | Irishexaminer.com