Council provides update on Church Street enhancement timeline

Councillors were provided with a rough timeline regarding Church Street enhancement works at Tuesday’s meeting (May 2 ) of the Athlone Municipal District.

District manager Pat Keating informed the chamber that the ground investigation and report, including archaeology and topographic surveys, is now complete. This work is required in advance of detailed design of the project and commenced in mid-April.

The consultant has now been instructed to prepare the detailed design of the scheme together with tender documentation. The detailed design will include details of line and level, drainage, general arrangement, construction, specification, materials, hard and soft landscaping, and street furniture. This should be completed by early June.

When the detailed design has been completed, tender documentation will be published on e-tenders. Holiday arrangements covering Christmas and St Patrick’s Day will be built into the tender documents.

Works outside of Church Street to prepare for introduction of the one-way system, including works at the hospital junction, Crescent junction and Mardyke Street junction, and the erection of signage and changes to traffic lights, will commence in June.

Following receipt and assessment of tenders, a contractor will be appointed to implement the scheme. It is envisaged that the contractor will commence in autumn and have work substantially completed by summer 2018.

Fianna Fáil councillor Aengus O’Rourke said it is good to see that the works are already underway. He called on the council to produce an implementation plan detailing when and what works will be undertaken in order to keep the public and stakeholders fully up to date on how the project is progressing.

Mayor John Dolan suggested that a number of information evenings be scheduled so that people know exactly what stage the project is at.

Independent councillor Michael O’Brien urged the council to utilise their website and all avenues of social media to keep people informed.

Director of services Barry Kehoe acknowledged the importance of communicating with the public. He said that utilising social media and holding information evenings are good ideas that will be looked into.

The council is currently in the process of hiring a project liaison officer, with the position expected to be filled in the coming weeks.

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