by Alan Jacques
LIMERICK City and County Council has signed a contract for works on a flagship Smarter Travel project to connect four key city hubs and suburbs by developing sustainable modes of transport for those living, working and studying in the areas.
The €1.1 million project will see the upgrading of the towpath along the banks of the River Shannon to a shared cycle and pedestrian pathway between the Boat House at the University of Limerick (UL) and Rhebogue in the city.
Construction work, to be carried out by John Craddock Ltd, will commence in early November and is expected to be completed by next July.
Overlaid on the route of a historical towpath along the city canal and the south bank of the Shannon, the existing pathway for this section of work will be closed to the public during the entirety of the construction project.
Proposed works include the construction of a bitmac path; construction of four pedestrian bridges; refurbishment of two existing stone pedestrian bridges; provision of public lighting, CCTV; and the erection of signage.
The construction of the new walking and cycling surface will wind around trees and historic structures which reduce the impact of the development on the bank but will promote universal accessibility to this nature area once completed.
According to Limerick City and County Mayor Liam Galvin, this project will create a universally accessible environment for all users and when completed, it will allow for a safe environment for cyclists, pedestrians and people with mobility issues.
“Importantly, it also will increase the number of people using sustainable transport to commute between the city centre and the Castletroy area,” said Mayor Galvin.
Donal Brennan of Limerick Smarter Travel explained that the development will serve as a multipurpose amenity for the city and Castletroy, Rhebogue and Corbally areas.
“Design elements have ensured that it will contribute to an overall enhanced public realm across the study area, become an amenity inclusive to all levels of mobility and provide a safe, well-lit and attractive commuting resource,” he said.
Limerick Smarter Travel Route 2 Phase 2 shared walking cycling path is the flagship project of Limerick Smarter Travel Office which is an initiative of Limerick City and County Council in partnership with the University of Limerick, and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.