Work will take place throughout 2020 on a new-look public realm for Francis Street. Following on from design workshops and a successful Part VIII planning consent in 2017, the project is now set to become a reality, in a move that’s likely to be broadly welcomed by businesses and residents on the street.
With a strong emphasis on pedestrians, the plan envisages widened pavements and new threshold spaces to the front of the Iveagh Market and St Nicholas de Myra Church. The current awkward widening and narrowing of the carriageway will give way to a consistent width and measures to reduce speeds and allow for more relaxed cycling and easier crossing. Changes to car parking and loading arrangements, 20 new street trees and landscaped areas, sustainable urban drainage measures (SUDs), new street lighting, street furniture and utilities will all serve to create a much improved street and establish Francis Street as a destination.
Construction work is expected to start in earnest in March. However advance works by the utility Irish Water to replace the water-mains along the full length of the street will see major disruption of the street from mid-January. Every effort will be made minimise disruption to residents and businesses and maintain access to premises. Through-traffic will be maintained at all times.
Take a look at how the street will look from 2021.
Paving work on the street will be undertaken in sections, beginning at the junction with Swift’s Alley and working south. The expected programme for paving is 10 months.
The street will be paved largely with a mix of the existing antique granite kerbs (which will be realligned) and concrete flagstones. Two higher finish areas to the front of Iveagh Market and St Nicholas de Myra Church will be completed with granite setts. 20 new Gleditsia triacanthos (honey locust) trees will be planted and a number of low-level planted areas are also planned, bringing greenery to the street. A number of sustainable urban drainage (SUDs) measures are being incorporated into the street including areas of permeable carriageway. Street furniture and lighting will be upgraded.
The plans below (which read from north end to south end) give a clear idea of how street layout will change along the street.
The Francis Street Environmental Improvement Scheme is a capital project of Dublin City Council under The Liberties Greening Strategy.