Work on Kilkenny City’s ‘Medieval Mile’ project has begun again after a winter hiatus, and it will continue for the next two months.
This phase of roadworks and re-paving along High Street encompasses the area from the post office down as far as James’ Street – an area of around 800 square metres. In addition, the space at the bottom of St Canice’s steps is to receive attention, with the grassy area removed and Velvet Lane enhanced.
As with the last time, the bulk of the work will take place at night and on Sunday mornings, to avoid conflicting with business hours in the city. There will be no work during the Easter holiday period, and pedestrian access is to be maintained at all times.
Phase four of the Medieval Mile project will then take place from September to November, after the height of the summer tourist season. This will involve work to the areas at the courthouse, Rothe House and Irishtown.
The project originally began in October 2012. So far, the area from the Parade to City Hall, and from City Hall down as far as the post office have been done. The Butter Slip and Market Slip were also re-textured for better grip, and to date around 1500 square metres have been completed, which the council says is slightly more than half the total to be done.
At the March meeting of the borough council, Cllr Joe Reidy (FF) asked whether there had been any progress on the new public lighting system which is to illuminate the route. At a meeting last year, the members expressed approval for a centrally-suspended white lighting system. Such a system also has support from the Gardai for its compatability with CCTV.
But senior engineer Kieran Fitzgerald said there had been ‘a difference of opinion’ regarding whether or not the lighting should be centrally suspended. A number of councillors then said they thought a decision had been agreed to go forward with the centrally-suspended lighting.
Dierctor of services John Mulholland said there was a school of thought whereby the council should try to remove overhead cables, and that centrally-suspended lighting would not achieve that. It remains to be seen what lighting system will now be put in place.
Green Party councilllor Malcolm Noonan said that the new public seating had been well received by the public.
“The seating has been warmly welcomed,” he said.
“It is being well used and we could do with more of it. I think we also need more bicycle parking – particularly in around the Parade and AIB area. People are getting a bit creative.”
Kieran Fitzgerald said that there was more bicycle parking designated for outside the Tholsel building, and more public seating on the way as well. He said it became more difficult to find suitable locations further north, as the streetscape narrows towards James’ Street, but that there was space near the courthouse also.