Stretscape works to enhance Mardyke Street, Pump Lane and Sean Costello Street will commence in early March with an expected project completion in March 2024, it has been confirmed.
Elected representatives present were informed of the intended Athlone Town Centre Public Realm Enhancement Works timeframe by Blathnaid Cox, a member of the Westmeath County Council Regeneration Project team at the recent sitting of the Athlone-Moate Municipal District.
The local authority recently appointed John Cradock Ltd to oversee the project, one which will enhance approximately 0.6HA of Athlone’s public realm.
Addressing the council chamber, Ms Cox stated that initial works will commence on Mardyke Street on March 2 and will proceed for a five month duration to conclude on August 4.
“The second phase of this project will commence on Pump Lane in June to be completed in September. There will be road closures in place during the public realm enhancement and Sean Costello Street, which is to be pedestrianised, will remain closed to street traffic once this particular phase of the works is due to start,” Ms Cox stated.
Elected representatives were also informed that the planned enhancement works would also realise the installation of refill stations and bicycle racks with the existing loading at Mardyke Street to be retained.
“There will also be a restriction to works during December to take into account the busy Christmas period,” Ms Cox added.
In response, Cllr Aengus O’Rourke, queried if there was an update on the sale of the O’Neill’s site which is a focal location within the public realm enhancement works and he also requested a “refresher” from the Regeneration Project team pertaining to the treatment of the numerous road junctions which will be realigned as the scheme progresses.
“I see no reason why we, as elected members, should have a refreshing update as to how the numerous road junctions will be assessed during such works, in particular, the potential traffic configuration at St Mary’s Square,” Cllr O’Rourke said.
Cllr Louise Heavin and and Cllr John Dolan queried the materials to be used for public seating incorporated into the works, Ms Cox stating that such materials would be similar to that used in the Church Street enhancement project to maintain an “integration flow”.
Concluding, Ms Cox informed the councillors that there would be project updates as the works progressed with meetings to take place between the contractor, elected representatives and various stakeholders on a regular basis.
This Athlone Town Centre Public Realm Enhancement project is funded through Project Ireland 2040 and the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF ) from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Planning.