As the town of Athlone continues to thrive from a development viewpoint, it has been announced that funding of €3 million has been made available from Government for the continuation of the Greenway from the White Gates on the Ballymahon Road to the Marina with the focal aim being the eventual traversing of the river Shannon with an iconic pedestrian bridge.
Speaking with regard to the announcement, Minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran stated that the welcome news was of major significance for the town.
“This is a further step towards the eventual construction of an iconic pedestrian and cycleway bridge across the River Shannon. Upon a recent visit to the midlands area, Minister Shane Ross stated that funding of €53 million was to be made available as part of the National and Regional Greenways strategy and we are about to see the initial fruits of this announcement,” Minister Moran commented.
The continuation of the Greenway will entail the construction of an essential underpass in the vicinity of Dunnes Store Montree which will enable the routeway reach the edge of the River Shannon at the Marina.
“Having spoken with Pat Gallagher, Chief Executive of Westmeath County Council, in relation to the Greenway extension, it was acknowledged that the relevant funding will be made available to the local authorities with the aim of signing off on this exciting development,” the Minister added.
The Greenway will weave its way through the town of Athlone, an “essential feature of its continuation” stated the Deputy.
“It is vital that the businesses of Athlone and the surrounding towns and villages benefit from the influx of tourists, and indeed, locals using the Greenway as an amenity and this is announcement is very much welcome in this regard also,” Minister Moran added.
In further news, it was confirmed by the Deputy that work has commenced on a new access road into the IDA Business and Technology Park Park off the roundabout situated just beyond the rear entrance to the AIT on the R916 close to Cypress Gardens.
Aimed at alleviating traffic congestion into the employee laden facility, this welcome development will also allow for the opening of additional lands with future investment by foreign businesses very much a possibility.
“This is much needed for those working in the IDA Business and Technology Park as at peak times traffic congestion is a major issue at the facility,” the Minister noted.
Minister Moran expressed his gratitude to both the IDA and political colleague, Minister Heather Humphries in this regard and expressed hope that such an additional access route development would lead to further investment in the future.