The government has committed to spending €61m to turn the east side of Haulbowline island into a public park with a sports field, walkways and cycle trails with preliminary work already begun.
The Office of Public Works has however warned that the location is unsuitable as a public amenity. They determined that any future use of Haulbowline faced a number of challenges including lack of adequate mains water supply and wastewater infrastructure, the reliance on a single road access point, lack of public transport, security concerns and lack of existing community facilities and services.
The location of the toxic dump is adjacent to the former Irish Steel plant which operated on the eastern side of island from 1938 until its closure by its owners Ispat in 2001. It contains approximately 650,000 cubic metres of steelworks waste that was deposited on a sand spit over a 40-year period.
This first stage of the project will focus on the remediation of the former steelworks site making it more environmentally and financially sustainable. Work is estimated to take 24 months and will include remediation of contaminated land of the former toxic dump site, repair and protection of protected building, seawalls, and quay dock.
Cork County Council has now issued an invitation for tenders for the first phase of work. Companies interested in applying must do so before 3rd May.