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Discussion Starter #1


What is the Lagan Corridor Project?
The River Lagan has played a central part in the history of Belfast, helping it to become one of the greatest ports in Europe and one of the UK's leading manufacturing centres by the end of the 19th century.

So, as the renaissance of Belfast gathers pace, it seems only right that the Lagan is restored to its former glory, allowing the city and its people to once again make full use of this most valuable resource.

What are the main aims of the project?
Corridor Project (see Lagan Restoration Trust) was initiated in 2006 to rejuvenate the waterway. Over the next few years, around 17 kilometres of the Lagan Navigation, from Belfast to Lisburn, will be re-opened.

Survey work is already underway to build a new lock and footbridge at Lock One at Stranmillis Weir, while it is planned to re-open two more locks in the near future, extending full waterway use right up to the City of Lisburn.

The future
In the long term, an even more exciting prospect is projected. Plans are under consideration to open the Lagan Corridor as far as Lough Neagh, where it will link up with the Shannon and Erne Waterway, through the development of the Ulster Canal, allowing the possibility of connecting Belfast, Dublin and Limerick by canal.

Background to the Lagan Corridor Project
Following a report commissioned in 2006 by various agencies, including Belfast, Castlereagh, Craigavon and Lisburn Councils, the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland and the Ulster Waterways Group, it was proposed to set up the Lagan Canal Restoration Trust to oversee the development of the Lagan Navigation through to Lough Neagh.

Stage One
Survey work has already been commissioned and stakeholder consultations have taken place on the first step of the process, Lock One at Stranmillis Weir.

The proposed new weir and lock, which will include a footbridge spanning the river and canal which links the Annadale Embankment and Stranmillis, will have various advantages.

As well as providing a local amenity, improved facilities will increase flood protection, reduce erosion, improve the passage of fish and provide a stable area of water to allow navigation and recreational use.


Stages Two and Three
The new weir at Stranmillis would allow further work to begin upstream. The second stage will include the restoration of Lock Two at Morelands Meadows. The third stage will be the development of the lock at the Lockkeepers Cottage (Castlereagh Council) and the building of a new weir at Shaw's Bridge, downstream of the existing weir, allowing navigation all the way to the City of Lisburn.

Lough Neagh
Depending on the availability of funding, the exciting possibility exists of extending the project from Lisburn to Lough Neagh, where it could then link up with the Shannon and Erne Waterway through the reinstatement of the Ulster Canal. This creates the possibility of traveling from Belfast to Dublin and Limerick by canal.

http://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/lagan/gallery.asp?menuitem=gallery
http://www.4ni.co.uk/northern_ireland_news.asp?id=77152
 

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Pleasantly surprised by this, never knew it was on the cards. And who would have thought in a million years they would restore the canal for boats. The Stranmillis bridge is a good move. It would also be nice for them to build a few more bridges further upstream, making it possible to have more circular walking routes rather than linear, though I'm sure they'll do this when they fix the canal.

This summer the council & national trust will be creating walkways linking the river with Colin Glen & the Black mountain. Over in East the Connswater Community Greenway will spend the next few years turning 3 rivers into an extensive linear park.

Though it probably wouldnt be part of the Lagan corridor projects remit, it would be nice to see the development of TQ come with a bridge linking the Oddyssey to Clarendon dock. A bridge linking the gasworks with Ormeau Park would also be good.
 

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I live in Malone. Once at about 4am after attending a party in Annadale I took it upon myself to trek through Lagan Meadows where I mistakenly believed a bridge existed in that exact spot that would take me home. At about 7am I re-emerged from the original entrance in Annadale feeling very confused and sick. I'm glad that wont happen for future generations. That spot has been crying out for a bridge.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I live in Malone. Once at about 4am after attending a party in Annadale I took it upon myself to trek through Lagan Meadows where I mistakenly believed a bridge existed in that exact spot that would take me home. At about 7am I re-emerged from the original entrance in Annadale feeling very confused and sick. I'm glad that wont happen for future generations. That spot has been crying out for a bridge.
:lol: nice one
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Does anyone know if work at Lock One at Stranmillis proposed new weir and lock, and footbridge has started construction.


 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ah right ... sorry ... was just wondering coz i know they are doing lots of work on the Dock .... i wonder what the actual reasoning for the dredging is? I hope it's in anticipation of sometime in the future having a marina in the Basin!!
It could be for the Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge to Belfast in August
There will be 12 ‘class A’ vessels – the biggest class of Tall Ships.
 

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Ahhh ... i think thats probably it! .... it must be for the Tall Ships!

Coz round the side of thre Odyssey between it and the M3 bridge where the Nomadic used to be is getting alot of upgrade work done which from looking at it from a distance looked to be upgrades for the Tall Ships to tie-up alongside the Odyssey.....

It will be some sight in belfast with all the tall ships.
 

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On a similar tip to the Lagan project is the new river path they are building called Newtownabbey Way. This pedestrian & cycle path links some existing parks and new areas to form a 3.5 mile route from the Whiteabbey sea front to the Corr's Corner hotel. It also links up with the main Lagan cycle path to Lisburn.

http://www.newtownabbey.gov.uk/news/article.asp?id=838



This project has been an aspiration for a few decades now. Up until a few years ago the only section that was built was the short Whiteabbey to Monkstown viaducts park. One of the main aspects of this project is the new bridges that cross the three mile water river. With these, Monkstown Wood, and the West of Mossley mill section now in place, the only major bit left to do is convert the current nature reserve and nearby wastelands into public use.


One of 3 new Monkstown bridges

There is no longer any detailed diagrams on the web so this basic map will have to do. The green lines are the paths already in place, some of which were only finished in 2007/08. The red lines are bits where you will have to cross roads. I dont know if the council are planning to improve many pedestrian crossings, bar the Bridge Road near Monkstown which is already pleasant and will improved further.



The brown lines are a rough guide to the paths that still need to be built. Newtownabbey think this will be started on this or next year. West of Mossley Mill already has it's path built, which follows the river upstream to Corr's Corner. This is roughly the end of the built up area, though there are plans to build a massive 40 insustrial estate on the 'country' side. The 150 acre Global Point development is potentially one of Belfast's largest building sites. Work is already taking place.

With this Invest Northern Ireland development being built the Newtownabbey Way will become more viable as a form of transport rather than a park solely used for pleasure. It is hoped that the council & Sustrans (a cycling charity who are one of the funders) will improve signage, which is currently poor or non existant. Access to some residential areas could also be improved though presumably this is not on the cards as these sections (namely alongside New Mossley) were built recently.



A cyclist has talked about the route here:
http://www.rainmiles.com/archives/the-newtownabbey-way.html
 

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I regularly run up the Lagan towpath from the Stranmillis end up past Shaw's Bridge. There is a lot of work going on around the point where the old canal section passes in front of the now restored Lock-keeper's cottage and café. It looks to me like a new lock is being built. Lots of large sandstone blocks being carefully positioned etc etc. Will photograph next time I'm walking there (I usually sprint past and look in fleetingly)
 

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Connswater Community Greenway

This is a £32m scheme to revive the Connswater, Knock & Loop rivers, creating 9km of linear park. Currenty large stretches of these rivers are inaccessible, and what continous routes exist can be quite hard to find in the detours through a shopping centre car park. The greenway aims to have extensive paths on both banks of the rivers.

This is the map of the overall plan.



There are maps of the individual sections here: http://www.communitygreenway.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4&Itemid=4

While the Newtownabbey Way scheme above is relatively basic, the Connswater development seems like the Lottery Council has given it a blank chequebook to do whatever they want. There will be 4 large iconic bridges built, mainly to cross busy roads. On top of that there will be over a dozen new bridges to link both banks of the river. They also have interesting plans for the Holywood Arches, which will cut away the pavement to reveal the river underneath. Theres a picture of it here: http://www.communitygreenway.co.uk/PDFs/HolywoodArchesSketch.pdf

The route will start outside the old Shorts offices, where it will link to Victoria Park via a new bridge. This is almost certainly an attempt to futureproof the walk so it can connect to the Titanic Quarter, though I'm sure it will be several years before a link is made possible. Improving the current Connswater paths, the scheme also plans to restore the bridge at Beersbridge, which was used by Con O'Neil and is one of Belfast's oldest structures.

While the new paths are mainly for recreation, in some cases they do provide new links for isolated areas. Some of the paths will be on road, but pedestrian crossings and tree planting will make these sections more viable and attractive than they currently are. New additions to the public sphere will be the Loop river path, and a quarry with views across the city.

Construction will take place between 2010 & 2013. The government's plans to build the EWAY guided bus route, and the Connsbank Link onslip off the dual carriageway, will likely effect the river paths in a highly negative way.
 

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That's brilliant, (Connswater scheme) all apart from the intrusion of the pathetic and useless eway bendy buses, which will ruin everything.
 
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