Right on track: Opening date for new Waterford Greenway revealed
The newest Greenway to be built in county Waterford is very much on track and is expected to be ready by early 2022.
Work has been ramped up on the state-of-the-art 24km cycling and walking route linking New Ross in Wexford with Waterford City, winding its way through thecountryside of South Kilkenny.
The first phase in the construction got underway recently when MJS Civil Engineering commenced the contract to lift the rails and sleepers from the disused New Ross to Waterford railway line and is expected to be completed within the next number of months. This will enable the tender process for the main construction contract to be completed, with works expected to begin before the end of the year
The Greenway is a joint initiative of Wexford County Council, Kilkenny County Council and Waterford City & County Council, supported by the local Partnership organisations. The overall project cost is €15m, with an approved €8m grant from the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport.
A spokesperson for Kilkenny County Council, the authority leading the project, said: “The Greenway is to be constructed along the former railway line between Mountelliott near New Ross and Waterford City, crossing the River Barrow via the iconic Red Bridge and passing through the scenic countryside of South Kilkenny, skirting close to the villages of Glenmore and Slieverue.
“The Greenway will also afford spectacular views of the new Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge across the river Barrow, before reaching Abbeylands and Ferrybank on the edge of Waterford City. From there it will link to the Waterford Greenway via the proposed North Quays and Bilberry Greenway Projects, creating a continuous 72km Greenway of regional significance spanning from New Ross to Dungarvan.
“The South East Greenway is scheduled to open in Spring 2022,” the spokesperson concluded.
The route being used is the disused railway line which has been in the ownership of CIE / Irish Rail since the discontinuation of passenger services in 1963 and discontinuation of freight services in 1995.
CIE / Irish Rail has now commenced negotiations with the local authorities to facilitate the development of the Greenway, with proposals to incorporate some of the remaining features of the New Ross to Waterford Railway into the overall Greenway experience.
Cllr. Ger Frisby, Cllr. Fidelis Doherty, Colette Byrne – Chief Executive, Kilkenny County Council, Sean McKeown – Director of Services, Kilkenny County Council and Cllr. Andrew McGuinness- Cathaoirleach Kilkenny County Council.
Eoin Atkinson – Resident Engineer – Waterford City and County Council, Malachy Walsh and Partners, Padraig Tracey – Site Manager – MJS Civil Engineering, Jack O’Leary – Technical Director – Malachy Walsh and Partners and Michael Storan – Project Manager – MJS Civil Engineering.