t is planned to link the greenway route through Sallins with the canal branch in Naas
The Grand Canal Greenway is likely to be completed before the end of 2021.
Its biggest single infrastructural project will be the construction of a new footbridge between the school in Sallins and the GAA premises.
The walking and cycling routes will run from Spencer Dock in Dublin to Shannon Harbour in County Offaly.
Some 115 submissions were received during the planning process and about half of these related to the planned to link between Sallins and Naas. About 39 kilometres of the route lies within County Kildare, and 70kms within Offaly.
The greenway has been broadly welcomed but at a Kildare County Council meeting two weeks ago, Cllr Brendan Young criticised the removal of trees at Lyons Demesne and said that a species of bat had been affected. Cllr Young also criticised the narrow width of the embankment in places between the waterway and the route, saying that this could be dangerous for cyclists and wheelchair users. In places it is about 25 centimetres, but he favours a width of one metre. He said the embankment should be raised and not sloped.
KCC director of services Peter Minnock said both Waterways Ireland and the National Parks and Wildlife Service are also involved in the project and it is intended to appoint a clerk of works with a specialist knowledge of ecology. In some places, he said, the width of the verge is unavoidably narrow and the amount of verge provided depends on how much land is available.
In parts of Sallins, for example, there is little room and the needs of farmers, landowners, boat users need to be accommodated as the route is developed.