Advance works begin for Church Street project

Evening and night-time works began on Church Street this week as crews worked to upgrade the street’s storm water drainage infrastructure. These works are planned for six weeks,and will take place between 7pm and 4.30am.

Temporary traffic management will be set up each night for the works and will include advanced signage at the Dunnes Stores and Custume Place junctions to notify road users. This signage will show an alternative route for through traffic via Northgate Street, Southern Station Road, Gleeson Street and Pump Lane. Pedestrian access will be maintained at all times.

District Manager Pat Keating said “every effort will be made to minimise noise by carrying out the majority of the saw cutting and breaking works during the first couple of hours each night.”

The works are part of a €3m infrastructure project that aims to transform Church Street and the centre of Athlone into a more inviting and welcoming space while reinvigorating retail in the area.

Central to the project is the introduction of a one-way system on Church Street. This will happen after Christmas to minimise any inconvenience during the important Christmas trading period.

A one-way system had been introduced in 2008 on a trial basis, when it met with derision from local businesses and residents. Traffic was reverted to normal after a six months and the plan was shelved until April of this year, when members of the council voted unanimously in favour of it.

Opposition to the planned system remains strong, with many local businesses displaying “no way to the one-way” signs in their windows since the plan was announced in April.

A briefing event will be hosted in the atrium of the Civic Centre before the introduction of the one-way system as part of the council’s overall communications strategy for the project. The date and time of this event will be made known in the coming weeks.

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