The council will hand Church Street over to the appointed contractor, John Craddock Ltd, next week (March 5 ) as the next phase of the €3m enhancement project begins.
During this phase, traffic will be diverted onto The Strand to allow sections of works to be carried out on Church Street while maintaining vehicle and pedestrian access throughout the street.
However, at the junction of Griffith Street with Dublingate Street where works will begin in mid March and finish in late April, such diversions cannot be facilitated and only local access to Church Street will be maintained. This means that Church Street will be closed to through traffic for seven weeks.
Traffic management measures will be put in place by the contractor and local access to Church Street and access to The Strand will be via Custume Place. Traffic travelling westbound from John Broderick Street, Sean Costello Street, St. Mary’s Square, Grace Park Road and at The Crescent will follow the Orange Loop on Gleeson Street to Southern Station Road and Northgate Street.
Athlone Municipal District insists that Athlone will remain fully open for business throughout these works, and that the benefit of the enhanced works will quickly become evident.
Pat Keating, district manager with Athlone Municipal District said, “Since Church Street went one way on February 15, traffic has been flowing relatively well along the new Orange Loop and we would like to sincerely thank the local community for their patience and support during this important development project; we apologise for any inconvenience.”
Progress updates will be made available on Westmeath County Council’s website, as well as the council’s facebook and twitter pages as the project continues. The Athlone Advertiser will also continually provide project updates.
The transformative redevelopment scheme, which is supported under the EU Urban Designated Fund, aims to revitalise the heart of Athlone’s central shopping area both aesthetically and in terms of accessibility, supporting the sustained and future growth of the town.
A new public space at Custume Place will provide a greatly improved image of Church Street when approaching from the Shannon area of the town. This will include a plaza area complete with street furniture, bicycle stands and street lighting, as well as planters with flower beds, foliage and native trees. Natural native materials, including granite and Irish blue limestone will be used throughout.