Athlone will not see a one-way traffic system in place in until at least January, 2018, councillors were informed at Monday’s meeting of the Athlone Municipal District.
The council had initially put an August start date for the introduction of the one-way system, and this was later revised to November. However, with the busy Christmas period fast approaching, the council has now decided to suspend its introduction until the new year.
District manager, Pat Keating, outlined the current schedule for the project at Monday’s meeting. He said that contractors have until Thursday this week submit their bids for the €3 million project, after which the tender process will commence. When the contractor has been appointed, the one-way system will be introduced at the same time as the main paving works get underway.
Mr Keating added that the council is in the process of procuring lighting and signage for the enhancement of Church Street, and that some advance works have been undertaken and are ongoing on various locations around the town.
Works on other junctions in the town are well underway. In the past few weeks, works have been taking place at the Northgate Street hospital junction, the Crescent junction, and the Mardyke Street junction.
Mr Keating also informed the meeting that a marketing company has been appointed to lead the council’s communications strategy throughout the entire project, including launching a leaflet and radio campaign which will be implemented close to the commencement of works on Church Street.
Mayor Aengus O’Rourke (FF ) welcomed the appointment of the marketing company. He said everybody involved is eager to ensure that all aspects of the project are as transparent as possible. He added that a January start date for the one-way system is probably the best option, in order to avoid impacting the Christmas period negatively from a business perspective.