Park Canal

Re: Park Canal

Postby PVC King » Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:19 pm

The National Trust have had a similar policy in respect of endowments for years as it has proven counter productive to take everything on for two reasons; one resources are finite even if the last decade of Irish Government suggests otherwise and all expenditure has an opportunity cost i.e. you put the important stuff at risk. Secondly where there is no National Trust local groups often get involved and take ownership of local projects; amazing that didn't happen in the Cotswolds which would have a generally very strong civic infrastructure independent of government.

Good luck with the Limerick Navigation I hope it gets there eventually despite government hacking.
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Re: Park Canal

Postby bjg » Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:35 pm

Sorry: I have misled you (and done the Cotswolds a disservice) by not providing a full account. A local authority did step in when British Waterways pulled out, and there are other voluntary and local actors in the Partnership: http://www.cotswoldcanalsproject.org/general.asp?pid=2&pgid=171. Waterways Ireland does not seem to be interested in such formal partnerships, preferring (I suspect) to hold all power itself, but local and voluntary input (including involvement in physical work, decision-making and fund-raising) are I think essential.

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Re: Park Canal

Postby bjg » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:03 pm

By the way, anyone interested in the modern (1920s) alternative to the Park Canal, the route via Ardnacrusha, might be interested in my virtual barge trip, from Killaloe to Limerick Docks, in a 300-photo slideshow http://wp.me/Ppxzo-15w. Numerous pics of buildings, old and new, from the water. I don't know the names of some of them and would welcome more information.

The photos were taken from the ex-Grand Canal Company motor-barge 68M, carrying barrels of stout for Dolan's Pub, to mark two occasions: Arthur's Day, the annual Guinness marketing opportunity, and the fiftieth anniversary of the last commercial cargo on the Grand Canal and the Shannon, which was a shipment of stout to Limerick.

Note that the page takes some time to load. And, even clicking through pretty fast, the show is likely to take at least ten minutes.

Click on the first photo to bring up the controls. If you have any problems with it, leave a Comment to let me know. I haven't done this before. I may not be able to fix any problems, but I can at least look into them.

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Re: Park Canal

Postby CologneMike » Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:03 am

Dredging work at Lock Quay (River Abbey / Canal Entrance)

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Photos by Sparky http://www.flickr.com/photos/37507409@N08/

See also bjg’s report on Irish Waterways History website.

http://irishwaterwayshistory.com/about/ ... -limerick/
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Re: Park Canal

Postby bjg » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:50 pm

And here http://wp.me/Ppxzo-rc is a top-level page leading to six other pages to show why the Park Canal, a section of the Limerick Navigation, should not be restored. This builds on some opinions expressed earlier in this discussion (and that means years ago). bjg
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Re: Park Canal

Postby Dan S » Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:26 pm

Goytre-Wharf marina wales.jpg
Goytre Wharf Marina South Wales
Goytre-Wharf marina wales.jpg (26.63 KiB) Viewed 8493 times
troy lock marina.jpg
Troy Lock Narrow Boat Marina
Interesting stuff on that link. However I don't see the canal towpath walk ever being used to its fullest potential by walkers, cyclists etc. until something is done about the canal itself. It isnt particularly attractive in its present state and if you are going to invest in an upgrade why not go the whole hog and do the canal as well? You have'nt indicated as far as I can tell how much its likely to cost to make that stretch of canal fully operational again. Point taken on the feasibility of an upgrade of the canal for the purposes of providing an additional transport link with the university but there are also cost implications to having derelict sites and buildings like those around Troy Locke within the environs of a city centre. In my view the city should be thinking about using the canal to regenerate that site, and attract investment so that that its more self-sustaining. It would be a great spot for restaurants, cafs etc. but the canal, in my view needs first to become some kind of focal point or destination for that to happen. It needs to serve some purpose, to be functional in some way. You mentioned berthing around Troy Locke, given the popularity of narrow boat living in the UK would it be feasible to create a marina at Grove Island? Since people would be mooring on a semi-permanent basis navigating down the Abbey would not be a daily hazard. Narrow boats would bring some colour and life to that location. In the UK they form little communities etc.. and if the canal was renovated perhaps they could navigate the reaches as far as Doonass at their leisure...
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Re: Park Canal

Postby bjg » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:06 pm

Dan: you have several separate strands there.

First, I'm not sure what the canal towing-path's "fullest potential" is or why it should have to reach that potential. It is already, as you know, much used; it seems to me that there are simple, cheap ways of increasing the level of use, and especially of using it as a tourist attraction. But the canal itself doesn't need anything done about it: it just sits there, with nature and anglers and stuff. Most Irish canals are little used by boats. How many pass through Dublin, between the twelfth lock on the Royal and the twelfth on the Grand, each year? Very few. But that doesn't stop people walking by them.

I don't know what it would cost to make the thing navigable. About ten years ago I was told that the cost of a lock was about one million euro, but much depends on the condition of the lock. Like those on the Shannon--Erne Waterway http://irishwaterwayshistory.com/abandoned-or-little-used-irish-waterways/waterways-of-ulster-and-thereabouts/lock-gear-on-the-junction-navigation-sew/, it might have to be dismantled piece by piece and rebuilt with a concrete lining and the old stonework on top. The bridge itself might need attention too. Then there's dredging: it might be tricky on the canal, but it might be equally so on the river. I don't know what condition the boatstream (the portion of the river close to the towing-path that would have been kept clear for boats) is in after eighty years. Dredging in an environmentally friendly way, without being attacked by anglers, and with no road access, might be difficult. But these are engineering matters, and I'm afraid I just don't know the answers. I suspect that the total cost would be in the millions, and I do know that Waterways Ireland's capital budget for all waterways is €4.5 million http://irishwaterwayshistory.com/2011/12/19/the-dahg-view-of-waterways/. My main point is that there is no conceivable return on money spent restoring the Park Canal; yours, I think, is that the canal would look nicer with boats on it and thus attract more people to visit it. Perhaps this solution http://www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/3D-artwork-makes-splash-village/story-12499357-detail/story.html would be cheaper.

On the derelict sites, the abandoned buildings were being used until the powers-that-be put steel sheets over the doors and windows. And the buildings also look attractive with interesting painting on them. I'd like TPTB to add some information about the history of the harbour, but in the meantime it is nice to see that active citizens have been doing their bit with their spray cans. I agree that it would have been nice to have caffs and so on, but the site owners don't seem to be interested in such developments and I doubt if there will be money for them for many years to come. And, of course, the harbour would be enhanced by having boats in it, and could have been a better destination than the Custom House, but (a) it would still be very hard to get in there from the Abbey River and (b) that too is not going to happen.

You don't have to go to Wales to find people living on boats. There are significant colonies at Lowtown, Sallins, Hazelhatch and (now to a much lesser extent) Shannon Harbour on the Grand, with a few on the Royal at Blanchardstown and some others scattered hither and yon around the waterways; I wrote about some of the issues here http://irishwaterwayshistory.com/rants/living-on-the-canals/. I don't myself think that Grove Island would be a suitable location: while Goytre Wharf is on a canal, Grove Island is on a river with a large tidal range and very strong currents. I don't think it's a safe place for residential moorings — and I would be surprised if Waterways Ireland would permit any (further) narrowing of their navigation. The best place in Limerick for such moorings is in the dock: a large body of still water, little used. But whereas previous recessions saw increases in demand for cheap narrowboats to live on (some, perhaps, about to fail their BSS checks in the UK), the current surplus of housing may mean that living in a small steel box becomes less attractive.

Cheap and cheerful improvements, not expensive engineering, are what we need. bjg
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Re: Park Canal

Postby CologneMike » Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:44 pm

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Canal restoration slammed as waste of money (Limerick Post)
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Re: Park Canal

Postby CologneMike » Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:49 pm

Hmmm . . . . I wonder could we waste the money on one of these amphibious busses instead?

They could operate from the city centre, let say at the normal Arthur’s Quay bus stops.

They could avoid difficult river stretches like around Mathew Bridge, Baals Bridge, the missing canal locks by entering/leaving the water via slip-ways.

They could go down the estuary or up the canal to UL or up to Killaloe via the Abbey River (Ardnacrusha).

I’m sure Councillor Gerry O’Loughlin would love to dive/navigate one.

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Heavy-Duty Amfibus (010)

This model of the Amfibus is designed specifically for heavy use in rough waters. It has a powerful diesel hydraulic drive that allows it to reach speeds of 100 km/hr on land and 15 km/hr (8 knots) over water. When travelling in water, the Heavy-duty Amfibus deploys its massive Hamilton HJ322 waterjets. The coach can comfortably seat 50 passengers and guarantees the utmost passenger safety. The first Heavy-duty Amfibus is already in operation for Splashtours in Rotterdam, where it proves its ‘Meuse-worthiness’ on the river every day.

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City-Use Amfibus (020)

This model is specially designed for travelling on smaller urban waterways like the canals in Amsterdam. The City-Use Amfibus, which seats 50 passengers, sits lower in the water – just 1.9 metres above the waterline, allowing it to travel easily through Amsterdam’s waterways – and includes such accommodations as a rooftop panorama deck and entertainment facilities. With its ultra-modern hybrid drive, it can sail on electric power and thus meet the so-called zero emissions standards. Rederij Lovers will premiere the first model and will be using it soon for daily tours through the Amsterdam canals.

Dutch Amphibious Transport (Link)
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Re: Park Canal

Postby Dan S » Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:33 pm

Amphibus - problem solved. Isn't there a tourist trail in Dublin that uses amphibious vehicles like that?

In respect of bjg's comments. I suppose my main point is that Limerick could do with a really ambitious urban development plan that makes good use of its assets. The canal is an asset precisely because it is both an amenity for walkers, cyclists etc but also because it is a green finger of high habitat value that extends right into the heart of the city. My primary contention is that it is not being taken care of properly and while it is being used by some there are many people - and I mean locals rather than tourists - who wouldn't dream of using it because they perceive of it as a somewhat uncared for and therefore unsafe place. Thats why I like the idea of bringing the canal itself back to life as a navigation channel and making it the focus of new development there. Bear in mind there are some large sites backing onto the canal behind O'Briens park that have great development potential for the future. Its all about making the city centre a desirable place in which to live in my view. But it requires imagation to see the possibilities and an appreciation of the wider picture when deciding what constitutes good investment. The American architect Daniel Burnham famously remarked in respect of urban development strategies "Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood and probably will not themselves be realized."
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Re: Park Canal

Postby bjg » Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:41 pm

WW2 DUKWs are used in Dublin, Liverpool and elsewhere to provide amphibious tours. Passengers are driven around Dublin, wearing (for some reason) horned helmets like Vikings didn't wear. The DUKW then drives to the slipway at the Grand Canal Outer Basin in Ringsend: I gather that the Maritime Safety Directorate won't allow them on anything other than calm water. Last time I looked at them, a second DUKW was kept at the basin; half the passengers were transferred to the second DUKW to comply (I presume) with Maritime Safety Directorate limitations.

If you want people to live in the city centre, why not concentrate your scarce resources on the city centre rather than on the canal? It seems that there is much derelict property in the city centre proper.

If Daniel Burnham wants to pay for a restoration of the Park Canal, I'm sure he's welcome to do so, but in the real world there is competition for scarce capital resources and your proposal, which has no obvious return on capital, does not, I'm afraid, deserve a high priority. Making the walking route safer does not benefit in any way from restoring navigation.

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Re: Park Canal

Postby bjg » Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:47 pm

PS see point 4 in this post on irisheconomy.ie: http://www.irisheconomy.ie/index.php/20 ... ome-casey/

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Re: Park Canal

Postby Dan S » Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:21 am

bjg - I'm not sure whether you are responding in part to my post or to the recently issued comments of some city councillors. But I am talking about a long term strategy for urban development that looks at possible opportunities for expansion over the course of the next 25 years. That's normally what's meant by an urban development plan. I'm not concerned about tourists so much as I am the local citizens of Limerick and the quality of public open space available to them especially in the light of a faltering city centre growth strategy. And I would be amazed if LCC succeeded in securing funding for a canal refurb anytime before 2016, but even so I wouldn't discourage them from trying, squeaky wheels and all of that.
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Re: Park Canal

Postby bjg » Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:53 pm

Dan S wrote:[...] I am talking about a long term strategy for urban development that looks at possible opportunities for expansion over the course of the next 25 years. That's normally what's meant by an urban development plan. I'm not concerned about tourists so much as I am the local citizens of Limerick and the quality of public open space available to them especially in the light of a faltering city centre growth strategy. And I would be amazed if LCC succeeded in securing funding for a canal refurb anytime before 2016, but even so I wouldn't discourage them from trying, squeaky wheels and all of that.


If "strategy" means "dreaming", "being totally impractical" and "ignoring economics", then I see what you mean. I had always understood that strategy formulation began by examining things as they actually are, but perhaps urban developers do things differently.

Happily, the bond markets will provide a corrective — and it will be well after 2016 before there is money to waste.

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Re: Park Canal

Postby CologneMike » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:14 am

For my generation of the1960s, city people swam in the Corbally baths or at the Shannon fields or at the Groody Bridge where the Groody entered the Shannon or at Plassey. We were even daft enough to splash about in the canal (bulls) near the railway bridge.

But by the late 1970s the City Council had issued health warnings (E-Coli) for the Corbally Baths and the Shannon Fields. Housing estates and one-off housing mushroomed outside the city’s small jurisdiction like Shannon Banks, Burlington Chemical factory, Castletroy etc, etc.

This might be partly addressed now by the sewage treatment plants built in last decade or so. The bottom line for me is that
the two local authorities in Ennis and Dooradoyle are blissfully ignorant of the importance of this stretch of river as an amenity asset for the city. Simply because those Councillors never use it for recreation.

In a way this recession is a blessing in disguise as it gives us a breathing space to strategically plan for the future. For example, the immediate area along both sides of the riverbank from Corbally to Plassey should be zoned and maintained as parkland (canal included). Future generations will thank us.

Otherwise building developers will dictate matters, like they did below at Parteen and build houses along the river thus blocking all rights of way along the riverbank. The Limerick Northern Distributor Road will open up huge tracts of land that will see the city expanding on the Clare side of the river. Therefore better to dream a plan now for the next 25 years than have more nightmare problems for a city fucked up by three local authorities.

Aerial view of city suburbs on the Clare side at Parteen (St. Thomas Island).

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Re: Park Canal

Postby bjg » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:09 pm

You may be right that the Limerick and Clare county councillors don't use Plassey or the river for recreation, but the "Park Canal" branding does not really help if it leads folk to forget that the Park Canal was just one section of the Limerick Navigation, a navigation that was mostly in Co Clare. Even the "Lough Derg Way" branding doesn't help, as Lough Derg is a long way off. AFAIK, there is nothing at the canal harbour in Limerick to show that the canalside walk is part of the same route as the Black Bridge, the canalside walk to Gillogue, the (usually inaccessible) section from there to Clonlara, the section of the O'Briensbridge looped walks from there to OBB itself, the section of OBB looped walk up to Parteen Villa Weir and the whole canal site at Killaloe. All part of what was probably the greatest inland waterways route ever in these islands, using the most advanced transport technology and the most efficient management of the 1830s. But local authorities seem to think only about what lies within their own borders. bjg
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Re: Park Canal

Postby bjg » Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:01 pm

Incidentally, what will the new road do to the Limerick Tunnel's revenues — and the compensation to be paid by the NRA? bjg
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Re: Park Canal

Postby bjg » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:32 pm

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Re: Park Canal

Postby bjg » Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:58 pm

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