Beginning of 2022 for the next Athlone regeneration project

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The large urban regeneration project planned for Athlone’s Sean Costello, Mardyke Street and Pump Lane neighborhoods could start early next year, after the project received full support from Westmeath County Council members this week .

In response to a question from Green Party adviser Louise Heavin at the June council meeting on Monday, regeneration program project leader Deirdre Reilly said detailed design documents for the final phase of the program regeneration of Athlone Street would be prepared “in the second half of this year” with contractors appointed “early next year”.

Ms Reilly added that it was hoped that construction could begin “immediately after” the appointment of contractors. “We will proceed as quickly as possible,” she said.

Prior to Ms Reilly’s contribution, Westmeath County Council members gave the project the final green light after reviewing a detailed report on a public consultation process prepared by the council’s chief executive, Pat Gallagher. In his report, Mr Gallagher concludes that the proposed works “would positively enhance the attractiveness of Sean Costello Street, Mardyke Street and Pump Lane, create a safer environment, promote sustainable mobility and create a positive social space capable of to attract a dynamic mix. uses.

The report also said the program “would complement recent upgrades undertaken at Church Street and improve pedestrian connectivity across the city.”

The general manager recommended that the project proceed “in accordance with the project documentation”, but added that archaeological monitoring would be necessary, as well as a detailed landscaping plan for the area.

Cllr John Dolan proposed that council give the green light for public domain improvement works for Sean Costello Street, Mardyke Street and Pump Lane, and said he was “very pleased” to propose the project.

It was seconded by Cllr Louise Heavin, who described it as “a great project” which will “make a very positive difference for Athlone”. She added that it takes “great courage” to close a street in any city and make it pedestrian, and praised the council for making “the right decision”.

Westmeath County Council’s new Cathaoirleach and Athlone Moate Municipal District member Cllr Frankie Keena said he was “delighted” to see the Athlone Street improvement program on the agenda of the local authority at his first meeting as Cathaoirleach, and he thanked the project manager, Deirdre Reilly, and her team for their work on this ambitious project.

Improvements to the public realm include the provision of improved pathways and the realignment of the existing carriage lane along Mardyke Street, including 120m of shared area; the 90 m pedestrianization of rue Sean Costello, from its junction with Pump Lane to its junction with rue Mardyke; provision of street furniture, play equipment, bicycle parking, street tree planting and gentle landscaping to improve biodiversity, and the installation of a priority intersection with signage, including improved pedestrian facilities at the junction of Mardyke Street, Gleeson Street, Pump Lane and Place Sainte-Marie.

In March, an allocation of € 4.1 million for the project was announced by Housing, Local Government and Heritage Minister Darragh O’Brien and Local Minister of State Longford / Westmeath TD Peter Burke. Work could start at the beginning of 2022, it was specified. The funding was allocated under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF). The affected area is contained in a roughly triangular block that stretches from the main entrance to the Athlone Towncentre shopping center development to the former O’Neill’s site which the council acquired by compulsory purchase order.

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