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Barrow Blueway Update March 2021
Following a request by Waterways Ireland to recommence works to the towpath, the Steering Group (made up of representatives from the project partners Kildare County Council, Laois County Council and Waterways Ireland) met on Wednesday 24th Feb to review the request and the reasons why this work might be considered essential. The Group concluded that the works to the towpath could recommence for the reasons outlined below.
The agreement was reached on review of the reasons Waterways Ireland outlined, including the concerns around ensuring the public having access to walkable surfaces within their 5km zone - given the recent inclement weather making some sections of the towpath practically impassable, and the fact that the
public are still attempting to use them; this has led to a health and safety concern. Furthermore the NTA Guidance on Construction of Transport Projects in Level 5, states:
“Construction will close from 6pm
on Friday 8 January, with limited exceptions including:
- repair, maintenance and construction of critical transport and utility infrastructure”
Having regard to:
However, decisions on the continuation of construction of individual projects should still be made on a case-by-case basis, and where it is considered appropriate for a construction activity to be suspended, this suspension should be activated. This guidance is subject to review and revision based on additional advice received.
Having reviewed and considered the above, the Steering Group have agreed that the works to the towpath can recommence, with the priority being to get sections complete and open to the public for use. With this in mind it was agreed that completing the stretch from Lowtown will be a priority,
followed by the section in Laois from the mink farm towards Athy. Waterways intend to mobilise two small crews to carry out the works, week of 1st March 2021.