Following seven weeks of works that saw Church Street closed to through traffic, the westward one-way system is set to be reintroduced this Friday.
However, as streetscape works continue on Church Street, traffic will be diverted onto The Strand, but vehicle and pedestrian access to Church Street will be maintained throughout, the council has said.
Streetscape works have been taking place at the bottleneck by Dublin Northgate Street and the top of Griffith Street for a little short of two months, and councillors have expressed their satisfaction with the finished result.
A statement release by the council read: “A significant milestone will be reached on The Church Street Enhancement Project with the reopening of the Orange Loop one-way westbound traffic system for all bar heavy goods vehicles on Friday, May 11.
“The works to the top of Griffith Street are to a high standard and will be completed on schedule by contractors for the scheme, John Craddock Ltd, allowing one-way westbound traffic flow through the town again.”
Mayor Aengus O’Rourke (FF ) has thanked the local community for their patience and support during the last seven weeks, and apologised for any inconvenience caused.
“The newly enhanced, high quality area, due to be completed in 2018, will be an inviting, welcoming space for shoppers, tourists, pedestrians and the wider local community, allowing the area to flourish as a thriving shopping, business and social district. The overall aim of the project is to reinvigorate the retail viability of the area by creating more opportunities for people to gather and spend time, contributing to the economic development of the town centre,” Mayor O’Rourke said.
“A new public space at Custume Place will provide a greatly improved image of Church Street when approaching from the heritage/ Shannon area of the town. This will include a plaza area complete with street furniture, bicycle stands and street lighting, as well as planters with flower beds, foliage and native trees. Natural native materials, including granite and Irish blue limestone, will be used throughout.”
Weekly liaison meetings continue to be held with Athlone Chamber of Commerce, Westmeath County Council, local traders (Living Environment ) and the contractor. Minutes of these meetings are posted on Westmeath County Councils website.