The imminent conclusion of the enhanced Church Street project, at a cost of €4 million, marks the initial phase of the changing landscape of the centre of Athlone.
With news that three key projects within the environs of the town centre are due to receive funding under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund, Athlone is set for landscape enhancements of vast proportions, the result of which is certain to see an influx of persons choosing the Midlands town as a place in which to reside, work and socialise.
With such welcome developments comes a need to increase the number of person focused amenities and in conjunction with the town’s evolution in the next number of years, it is hoped that the relevant necessities are noted and implemented as the three key projects (Athlone Tourism Cultural Quarter, Athlone Town Centre Regeneration and Enhancement, Loughaniskin ) come to fruition.
Addressing the Church Street enhancement during the Municipal District meeting, District Manager, Jackie Finney, noted that major works and plant would be off the Athlone’s main thoroughfare on December 8.
“Church Street will be fully open to pedestrians and traffic. Some minor works may be carried out on the thoroughfare post this date with pavement works continuing on the south side of the bridge.
“The contractors will return in January to fully complete the project including additional works, snagging and the installation of the remaining street furniture,” the District Manager remarked.
Remarking that the contractors had mitigated impact on the stakeholders during the enhancement process, Cllr. Aengus O’Rourke noted a concern with the Orange Loop now in full flow.
“With the one way traffic system now in full working order, we, as a Municipal District, need to pay attention to the number of cars parking at will on the footpath along Northgate Street, commencing outside the Seetec building. It is an integral part of the Orange Loop and we must manage this situation accordingly,” Cllr. O’Rourke remarked.
Town Mayor, Cllr. Frankie Keena, commended his colleagues and the Council executive for embracing the project once it returned to the Chamber table in 2014.
“Members were unified in their support of this development and have also contributed to the plans which are a feature of the three key projects which received approval as part of the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund,” Cllr. Keena continued.
Director of Services, Barry Kehoe, stated that he was not in receipt of any further information regarding the approved three projects but expected the relevant Department to “engage with a detailed planning schedule” in due course.
In unison, the elected representatives present, eulogised with regard to the standard of work completed along Church Street, noting that members of the public who initially were not in favour of the enhancement were now commending the works.