When complete, the scheme will provide a multi-activity 46km off-road, flat and accessible public space and leisure route along the inland waterway – together with approved paddling trails for on water access – running from Lowtown in Kildare, through the towns of Rathangan, Monasterevin, Vicarstown, to Athy.
The proposed upgrade will improve access to the beautiful Barrow Way, both on and along the water, offering an enhanced experience to walkers, cyclists, wheelchairs users, paddlers and families.
Works are to commence on Wednesday 15 July at Milltown Bridge, some 3km north of Athy, with localised closures to facilitate the upgrade of the towpath. The duration of works this year will be around 16–18 weeks.
The works will be carried out in accordance with all environmental and planning conditions and under the oversight of an ecological clerk of works, to ensure any potential negative environmental impacts are avoided and ecological mitigation is implemented in accordance with legislation and best practice.
What’s being touted as a “top tourist attraction” is due to be complete early 2022 and “will not only offer a huge economic boost, positively influencing economic growth opportunities, it will also increase that sense of community, create exciting opportunities for both recreation and ways to experience many of the community's interesting places from new perspectives”, according to the project partners.
Kildare County Council will keep the public updated as works progress on the blueway scheme, which is funded by the Government of Ireland under Project Ireland 2040.