Wednesday 25 July 2007

From Lansdowne Road to Stands Down Road . . . in a single day

A LOT done, so much more to do.

The first work on the new €365m Lansdowne Road stadium will begin this week, amid the rubble and remnants of the oldest rugby stadium in the world.

Demolition work on the antiquated stadium is expected to finish towards the middle of next month with a number of Dart services to be closed to facilitate the destruction of the remainder of the West stand over the August bank holiday weekend.

But, before that comes to pass, building will start on the new state-of-the-art 50,000-seater stadium.

"Later this week, they are starting some work on the foundations for the new East stand," Roddy Guiney, spokesman for the Lansdowne Road Stadium Development Company, confirmed yesterday.


"That's the first part of work for the new stadium and that will start I think on Thursday or Friday. The plan is that the stadium is complete and the pitch in position by the end of 2009 so it's a fairly tight schedule so we're keeping it moving."

Planning permission was granted for the new stadium last March and the demolition men moved in on the famous old Dublin 4 stadium in May.

And, as the main picture shows, they have made light work of a ground that hosted its first international game in 1878. Only the West stand hasn't been battered into submission, and even that is roofless.

And while Ireland's football players often complained about the state of the pitch in the wake of rugby internationals, it never quite plumbed these depths.


"We are on track. The demolition should be finished by the middle of August at the latest so it is right on schedule," Mr Guiney said.

"The south end terrace or the Lansdowne Road terrace is gone, the West stand is roofless and the soft fittings and furnishings are gone from that. The plan is and the plan always was to take that down over the August bank holiday weekend so that will be totally gone by then.

"My understanding is that the last of the East stand being taken down at the moment will probably be done by the August bank holiday weekend, and at the moment they are working on the Havelock Square end or the north end".

"Everything is due to be down by the middle of August, the demolition will be over by the third week."

Dart services between Connolly station and Sydney Parade will be closed over the August bank holiday to facilitate the work on the West stand.

At the moment there are 200 workers on site, but that will expand significantly as soon as the building work commences in earnest. "It's when you get into the real construction phase that the figure will ramp up and I think. When it's at its most advanced there'll be seven or eight hundred or maybe 900 working there," Mr Guiney said.

Jason O'Brien
Irish Independent

No comments: