Oral hearing examines excavation of materials on proposed greenway

The issue of excavating material for the proposed South Kerry Greenway has been discussed at an oral hearing into the project.
Kerry County Council is seeking permission to build the 32-kilometre walk and cycleway from Glenbeigh to Renard.
It’s seeking approval to acquire the lands needed by compulsory purchase order.
This is the third week of the An Bord Pleanála oral hearing at Manor West Hotel, Tralee.
Dr Elaine Bennett, who is the co-ordinator of the Environmental Impact Assessment Report and is a senior scientist, told barrister for the Greenway Information Group, Michael O’Donnell that she hasn’t walked the full 32 kilometre route but has walked sections and has driven in the environs of others.
She agreed that there are three types of lands where works will be carried out: greenfield, intact railway embankments and areas where the railway has been removed.
Ms Bennett said Kerry County Council had done a lot of the design work including calculations about volumes of materials; she told the hearing she didn’t do a detailed analysis of those calculations.
Project Manager Conor Culloo told Mr O’Donnell that in terms of the materials that would be removed from site during the excavation of the greenway an average figure is used in the construction methodology report.
Mr Culloo said the average excavation would be 150 millimetres deep but that can vary above or below that in respect of different ground conditions – he said this is why you use an average excavation figure for the total length of the greenway.
He said this is a reasonable approach to construction, however, Mr O’Donnell said it was not a reasonable approach for the purpose of an Environmental Impact Assessment.
Over 56% of the scheme is on the old railway and Mr Culloo noted that parts of the greenway route used to hold the weight of a train.
He said materials that could not be reused on the greenway would be removed from the site and be brought to a compound before being disposed of in an authorised facility.