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In 2012 Roughan O’Donovan Consulting Engineers, working on behalf of Meath County Council and National Transport Authority, asked Ecoplastic to get involved in a project that would transform over a kilometre of riverside into a car–free corridor for cyclists and pedestrians along Drogheda’s Boyne River.
Following the enormous success of the Newport–Mulranny Greenway in Co. Mayo, there is a push to duplicate the benefits of these amenities to the local economy as well as the well–being of local residents and visitors.
Mark Smillie, Engineer at Roughan O’Donovan, wanted to create a boardwalk made entirely of 100% recycled plastic. We were able to offer a variety of options – variations in surfacing, colour, width, support beams and ground piles – before Mark made the decision to use our standard recycled plastic materials for the 900m of boardwalk. He also used our unique glass–reinforced recycled plastic material for the balustrades.
Over the following months, Ecoplastic supported Roughan O’Donovan with technical information, chemical composition information and construction advice, ensuring their design would meet their loading and construction requirements.
“Working with the Ecoplastic team was a pleasure from start to finish.” said Mark. “We felt we had a real partner on this project from the get–go. Ecoplastic guided us through the finer details of using recycled plastic as a construction material, never wavering from any of the challenging engineering problems this kind of project entails and every response was quick and pleasant. Their technical knowledge of recycled plastic members is second to none and their attention to detail is exemplary. We’re looking forward to working with them in the future.”
After being appointed contractor on the project, Clare Civil Engineering again relied on the expertise of Ecoplastic to bring Roughan O’Donovan’s final design to fruition. Ian Donaghy, Contracts Manager at Clare says “Recycled plastic was entirely new to us as a construction material. This project had many unique factors – including partial submersion of the structure, difficult ground conditions and the sheer scale of the project overall – but Ecoplastic were able to address our concerns and offer guidance and support throughout the process. They were able to offer unique insight and expertise whenever it was needed, right down to how the balustrade rails should be fixed to account for recycled plastic’s expansion/contraction coefficient.”
Opened by Minister for Transport Alan Kelly in April 2014, the Boyne Greenway boardwalk is 3250m2 of boardwalk made entirely from recycled plastic – the largest recycled plastic structure in Europe. The structure cost 1/9th the cost of a similar structure in steel and will last 3 times as long as a similar structure in timber, while providing maintenance free recreation for thousands of local amenity users.
“This is a wonderful facility for cyclists and walkers to experience the unique heritage and culture of the Boyne Valley. This greenway can be the ‘Best in Ireland’ and can more than add to the wealth of facilities and amenities already in place” said the Minister. Meath County Council Chairman John V. Farrelly commented “This a great facility for tourism in County Meath and is the first phase in creating ‘Ireland’s Best Greenway’ along the Boyne Valley, connecting Drogheda, Slane, Navan, Trim, and cycling routes across Meath and the North East Region. This project can be truly described as a world class attraction which will support our local and national economy, and provide an unprecedented level of access to the premier heritage attractions in Ireland.”