Cycleway bridge goes before An Bord Pleanála for approval

Athlone’s proposed cycleway and pedestrian bridge over the Shannon will act as a landmark for people visiting Athlone, a report on the structure has declared.

An environmental impact assessment on the proposed bridge across the River Shannon has now been completed and submitted to An Bord Pleanála for approval.

The proposed river bridge will provide a new link for pedestrians and cyclists across the river in the heart of Athlone town centre.

The bridge, which will be constructed between the Radisson Blu Hotel and Luan Gallery, will have an overall length of 104 metres. It is predicted that the development will attract approximately 35,600 users annually once in operation.

The removal of 13 car parking spaces to the eastern side of the castle is the most significant permanent impact associated with the project.

During the construction phase, the temporary removal of berths from the marina will cause some disruption, but this will be minor.

A segment of the walkway at the marina will also be inaccessible while the works are undertaken. However, as part of the project the boardwalk currently in place at Luan Gallery will be widened.

The construction phase will cause short-term noise disruption but steps such as the limiting of working hours will be taken to ensure this is kept to a minimum.

The report adds that it is hoped the development will lead to Athlone becoming “a cycling hub town” with the prospect of increased tourism.

The project is currently up for public consultation with documentation on display in Athlone Civic Centre. Submissions from the public can be made up to June 27.

The full Environmental Impact Statement can be downloaded from the Westmeath County Council website at www.westmeathcoco.ie

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