An aerial view of the new Shannon Cycle & Pedestrian Bridge
Cyclist.ie vice chair Dave Tobin, and Colm Ryder, infrastructure coordinator, were invited by Westmeath County Council to attend the formal opening of the €15 million Euro Cycling/Pedestrian Bridge across the River Shannon on Tuesday 8th August last. Cyclist.ie has supported this project enthusiastically and we have made a number of submissions on the general planning of the overall EuroVelo route from Dublin to Galway of which this bridge is a vital cog. The bridge was formally inaugurated by Minister Jack Chambers, with a variety of officials and local politicians in attendance.
Minister Jack Chambers formally inaugurates the Shannon EuroVelo link bridge
This vital link bridge placed roughly halfway between the main railway and road bridges spanning the Shannon in Athlone, is a major statement in relation to the development of cycling and walking links across the country, and a further impetus to the development of the full EuroVelo cycle route from Dublin to Galway. It was a complex and challenging project in a confined urban and water space, and the construction problems were exacerbated by the at times exceptionally high water levels of the River Shannon. We commend the elegant modern architectural and engineering design that this project embodies, as a major statement of our government’s commitment to active travel. Check out these short videos
The bridge directly links the east side of Athlone in Co Westmeath, with the west side in Co Roscommon, and also links the modern Radisson Hotel and the historic Athlone Cathedral and Castle. Of course, it also links the EuroVelo route from Dublin to Athlone, with the proposed route from Athlone to Galway, and is strategically placed in an area that is often regarded as the centre of Ireland! A small plaque in the centre of the new bridge celebrates this location. See photo below.
Plaque at centre of the Shannon Link Bridge
The project has been managed overall by the Westmeath Council Projects Office, under the Project Coordinator for the Galway to Athlone Cycleway, Michael Kelly. Michael has been involved in the development of the Old Rail Trail from Mullingar to Athlone, and also in the work on the EuroVelo route finalisation between Athlone & Galway, which continues. Cyclist.ie looks forward to the continuing development of this important cross Ireland, and cross Europe Route, as part of the EuroVelo cycle route complex
Michael Kelly, overall EuroVelo 2 project manager/coordinator
We would urge Cyclist.ie members and all cycling advocates to visit this flagship project, which makes a big statement about Ireland’s commitment to active travel. Tell your friends about it, but most of all go check it out for yourself. And no need to even bring your own bike, as you can now avail of Moby Electric Bike Hire around Athlone, and of course Athlone also has very good public transport connections.
CHECK IT OUT!