File Pic: works for Barrow Blueway will be starting soon
The Barrow Blueway located at Monasterevin, Kildare is to be completed this year, the government has confirmed.
Previously, the project was granted planning permission back in 2019 to complete the development of the existing 46km towpath from Lowtown to Athy.
In a parliamentary reply to Labour Party (LP) TD Duncan Smith, the Department of Housing, Heritage and Local Government confirmed the following: "Waterways Ireland was granted planning permission for the development of the existing towpath from Lowtown to Athy, a distance of approximately 46km in 2019."
"The project objectives are to:
(1) Provide upgraded and new physical infrastructure in accordance with planning permission;
(2) Provision of infrastructure to achieve ‘Accredited Blueway’ status for the route; and
(3) Co-ordinate marketing activity to maximise the potential of the Blueway.
"Work commenced on site in the late summer of 2020, with completion of works by Waterways Ireland expected in late 2022."
Waterways Ireland added: "In order to ensure the Barrow Navigation remains navigable and as accessible as possible into the future, priorities include the delivery of the 46km Blueway route from Lowtown to Athy in partnership with Kildare and Laois County Councils and the development and approval of a five-year strategic maintenance programme to the planning authorities."
The news has been welcomed by Athy LP Senator Mark Wall, who said: "This amenity has already benefited the entire South Kildare and Laois areas."
"It is very positive to hear that Waterways Ireland hope to have it completed by the end of the year.
"I also welcome the news that a five year strategic maintenance programme is currently in discussion: I look forward to its completion and the benefits it will bring to the areas it travels through," he added.
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