General Industry

New Athlone Greenway Bridge To Benefit Cycling Tourists

By Robert McHugh
New Athlone Greenway Bridge To Benefit Cycling Tourists

The Athlone Greenway Bridge has been officially opened by minister of state Jack Chambers.

The project completes 108km of Greenway between Athlone Castle and Maynooth forming part of the planned 300km coast to coast greenway amenity between Galway and Dublin.

From East To West

The Athlone Greenway Bridge will bring pedestrians and cyclists across the River Shannon, Ireland’s longest river and through the very heart of the town.

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.

The centre-point of the new Greenway Bridge features an inlaid bronze plate, highlighting its significance as a crossing point from east to west.


Tourist Attractions

Cyclists and walkers crossing the new bridge will have opportunities to explore the town’s attractions, including Athlone Castle, the Luan Gallery, and Sean’s Bar which is Ireland’s oldest Pub.

The Viking Boat Tours bring visitors around the islands of Lough Ree or to the monastic site at Clonmacnoise.

Economic Opportunities

In a statement, the Minister noted that the bridge is of a scale that allows Ireland to tap into the growing international tourism market for cycling, and that such markets provide economic opportunities for new and existing local businesses across the country.

Along with the international tourism opportunities offered, the government believes 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.

'Further Work Underway'

"This bridge also provides a safe off-road river crossing connecting the east and west of the country ensuring that we now have a fully segregated Greenway for active travel users from Maynooth to the western side of Athlone," said minister of state Jack Chambers.

"Approximately €15 million has been spent to date by the department of transport in relation to the construction of this bridge, further work is underway to extend this Greenway to Galway city."