Westmeath County Council has appointed PD Contractors Ltd to construct a 1.1km section of the Dublin to Galway Greenway in Athlone.
The scheme will commence with a toucan crossing at Whitegates at the end of the existing Old Rail Trail and continue along the disused railway line to Montree where it passes under the Galway-Dublin railway line via the recently constructed cycle and pedestrian underpass.
The Greenway then crosses over to St Vincent’s Hospital and travels inside the existing perimeter wall. A second toucan crossing will be installed on Abbey Road linking the Greenway to the pathway in Abbey graveyard and finishing at the top of Marina lane adjacent to the Radisson Hotel on the east bank of the River Shannon.
This new 1.1 km section of Greenway will open in June 2021 and eventually link to the proposed new cycleway bridge which is due to commence construction next summer connecting the Greenway to Athlone Castle.
This project will enhance Athlone’s inter-urban cycle network as a holistic sustainable transport system and promotes Athlone as a sustainable transport hub, of national and regional importance.
“This Greenway extension of the Old Rail Trail through the town will further encourage cycling to work and school due to its proximity to primary and secondary schools and the Athlone Institute of Technology as well as the Blyry and Garrycastle Business parks. It will also form part of the Dublin-Galway Greenway which has the potential to transform tourism in the town and region,” Cllr Vinny McCormack, Leas Cathaoirleach of Westmeath County Council, stated.
The Old Rail Trail also flanks the sporting grounds associated with the Regional Sports Centre, the Athlone GAA grounds, Athlone Town Football Club and Athlone Tennis grounds encouraging Active Travel by connecting people with services, benefitting the wider community including school children, students, employees to visitors, tourists, recreational and occasional users.