Advance works on Church Street will commence this month under a two-way traffic system, councillors were informed at Monday’s meeting of the Athlone Municipal District (September 4 ).
Athlone district manager, Pat Keating, said the one-way system could be introduced by November, but that the exact date will be agreed after the assessment of tenders and the hiring of a main contractor to carry out streetscape works.
Mr Keating added that works on the other junctions in the town are already underway. In the past few weeks, works have been taking place at the Northgate Street hospital junction, while work began at the Crescent junction this week. Mardyke junction is next in line. The procurement of traffic lights and signage is also at an advanced stage.
The council has also committed to a strong communications policy for the duration of the project. This includes close co-operation with the local press by way of interviews and press releases to explain exactly what works are happening, when they are taking place, and how they might affect the local population.
Social media will be utilised to keep the public informed and a dedicated website will also be put in place. The council also intends to adorn street billboards with information relating to the works, and a Project Liaison Officer has been appointed in the person of engineer John Brophy,
Radio advertisements will be broadcast in the two weeks ahead of and one week after the introduction of a one-way system.
Stakeholders including the mayor, district engineer, project liaison officer, Athlone Chamber, and the Living Environment Group will meet weekly to discuss progress and any issues arising from the works, and councillors will be briefed each month at the Municipal District meeting.
Mr Keating confirmed that free one-hour parking at the car park at The Strand will be introduced once the one-way system commences and will remain in place for the entire duration of the main contract works.