Minister of State, Jack Chambers will – next week – officially open the new Athlone Greenway Bridge.
The bridge completes 108km of greenway between Athlone Castle and Maynooth, forming part of the planned 300km coast to coast greenway amenity between Galway and Dublin, which is of a scale that allows Ireland to tap into the growing international tourism market for cycling. Such markets provide economic opportunities for new and existing local businesses across the country.
The opening event will take place on Tuesday (August 8) at 9:30am.
The Athlone Greenway Bridge will bring pedestrians and cyclists across the mighty River Shannon, Ireland’s longest river and through the very heart of this buzzing town. The bridge, with a contract value of €13m, is an important part of the overall coast to coast Galway to Dublin Greenway project. The preferred route for the western section between Athlone Castle and Galway was announced earlier this year with the proposed route passing through Shannonbridge, Portumna, Gort and Oranmore before it reaches Galway city.
Along with the international tourism opportunities offered, the new bridge will also facilitate the compact and sustainable growth of Athlone, a town which was named as a Regional Centre in the National Planning Framework. In terms of Active Travel, this bridge will deliver a resilient and sustainable modal shift for travel between east and west.
Geographically, Athlone’s boasts a central location, both within the Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands region and within the country as a whole. The centre-point of the new Greenway Bridge features an inlaid bronze plate, highlighting its significance as a crossing point from east to west, at the heart of all that the greenway, the River Shannon and this vibrant town have to offer.