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Pedestrian-Friendly Works On The Way As More Of Dublin City Centre Becomes Car-Free

A new plaza by the Ha'penny Bridge will make more of Dublin car-free.

Construction will finally begin on a €6.5M pedestrian plaza for Dublin later this month, more than three years after it was first approved by city councillors.

Work on the plaza, located by the Ha’penny Bridge on Liffey Street, will see Liffey Street closed to traffic between Strand Street and the Quays, according to MSN.

The remainder of Liffey Street Lower and all of Liffey Street Upper  from Abbey Street to Henry Street  will be upgraded to create what the council has described as a more pedestrian-friendly environment.

“The proposed works will involve a full upgrade of the footpaths and carriageway at this location," the council said in a statement. "The footpaths will be widened and repaved in granite, and notable new planting will be included to match those already introduced in other recently completed city centre streets."

The work is expected to begin on 23 January and be completed by the end of 2024, with pedestrian access maintained throughout.

Liffey Street (both Upper and Lower) experiences footfall of around 30,000 pedestrians and traffic of 2,500 vehicles per day, according to the council.

The existing pedestrian area on Liffey Street Upper is to be extended to the intersection with Abbey Street. A new pedestrian plaza will also be created on Liffey Street Lower between Strand Street and the Quays.

The council began plans for a northside plaza following An Bord Pleanála’s refusal of its previous College Green plaza plans in 2018. It progressed the Liffey Street project through its internal planning process, though intended works were halted before they began in 2020 because of the pandemic.

Since then, the council has sought to give more space to pedestrians and to create space for outdoor dining, mainly focused on the south of the city surrounding Grafton Street.

Cars were permanently banned from a number of areas around Grafton Street in May 2021 and, while most of the areas affected were to the west of Grafton Street, South Anne Street was also pedestrianised.

More recently, Parliament Street was made traffic-free three evenings a week, from July to the end of August 2022.

Development of a cycle route on the Liffey Quays involving the construction of boardwalks over the river is set to be shelved, however, following a dramatic increase in projected construction costs, from €20M to more than €100M.

The path from the Phoenix Park to the Tom Clarke Bridge had been in planning for a decade, with the route running for 5km on both sides of the river.

Separately, the council has sought bids to redesign the College Green plaza ahead of submitting a fresh planning application later this year.