Proposed south Kilkenny project were recently approved by local councillors
Locations are being considered for five new carparks to provide access for and service the new Kilkenny Greenway.
Site investigation and some vegetation clearance is to begin as the relevant local authorities look to assess the condition of the route and see what sort of work will be necessary for the project.
For clearance, permission is needed from CIE, which owns the line, and will also be needed from various landowners to cross fields and gain access to lands.
At the October meeting of the Piltown Municipal District, director of services Sean McKeown updated members on the project.
"A lot of the greenway is overgrown so the embankments need investigation,” he said.
Mr McKeown added that, in each case, it was important to reassure landowners as to what was going on.
Planning is in place for the greenway, but not for the carparks. Mr McKeown said it was the objective to have at least five carparks along the route at various stages: One on the Wexford site, one at Rosbercon, Glenmore, between Glenmore and Belview, and one at Ferrybank.
Various sites are currently being investigated. Each will require a Part 8 public consultation, and this will likely take place next year. The overall project is still on target to go to detail design by year end.
Mr McKeown said it was likely a contractor would be appointed slightly later than anticipated — perhaps in March/April, with construction then delayed until June. In any case, it will likely be Quarter Two of next year before the construction phase begins.
Cllr Pat Dunphy said that there was an issue in relation to vegetation clearance and the areas at the back of people’s houses. He said there were concerns they were being opened up as material was cleared, in terms of boundaries and people passing by.
Conversely, Cllr Ger Frisby said that opening up may improve visibility and get rid of the concealment for the likes of burglars.
“But it’s about consultation and good communication with the people there to allay fears,” he said.
Mr McKeown clarified the vegetation clearance is in certain areas where access points are being considered or initial site investigations.
“It is not clearance of the line,” he said.