Hot on the heels of the news of investment and development plans for the River Barrow Blueway through Laois and Kildare, similar proposals are at an advanced stage for its tributary, the River Triogue.
A river which has seen its share of pollution spills and fish kills over the years, the Triogue has suffered a fair deal of degradation though neglect and illegal dumping. But a new lease of life is on the cards for the river which flows through Portlaoise and enters the Barrow near Mountmellick.
The Barrow Blueway itself was stalled last year due to objections to elements of the blueway route through the Carlow section. It has now been decided to proceed with the Laois and Kildare aspect of the amenity, which it is hoped will have a tourism benefit.
Towns on the route for the Barrow Blueway will include Rathangan, Monasterevin, Vicarstown and Athy.
Now there are parallel plans in hand to enhance the route along the River Triogue as an amenity feature to include a walking path and cycleway.
€650,000 has been secured under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund to advance the Triogue Blueway.
Responding to queries from Cllrs Thomasina Connell and Catherine Fitzgerald regarding progress on the Triogue works, Director of Services, Mr Simon Walton gave this update.
“The Triogue BlueWay is a walkway/cycle path that extends from Greenmill Lane/Triogue Linear Park through to the Portlaoise Southern Circular Road.
“Part of the route of the BlueWay is adjacent to a proposed natural heritage area (pHNA), the Ridge of Portlaoise.
“Ecological assessments and information gathering have been ongoing since 2018 with a view to developing plans for the BlueWay that avoid, minimise or mitigate the impacts of the BlueWay on blue fleabane, a rare plant species and one of the principal reasons for which the Ridge of Portlaoise has been proposed for designation as a NHA.
“A brief for the appointment of consultants to advance the detailed design of the Scheme has been prepared and the detailed design will progress over the first half of 2020 with a view to applying for planning permission consent in the appropriate fashion by mid-2020.
“The delivery date is dependent on the granting of the planning consent but it is hoped to have elements of the BlueWay in place by the end of 2020 and for the BlueWay to be fully in place by the end of 2021.”
Cllr Thomasina Connell said that it would prove a great resource and amenity through the Town as many people were now so health conscious and also wanted to reduce their carbon footprint.
In the interim she called for improve signage to denote the existing access to the Triogue Linear Park at Green Mill Lane. She said it was a beautiful facility and yet there was no visible indicator for the many residents who lived in its vicinity.
Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald said it was a fantastic project for Portlaoise and she looked forward to when it was fully completed and could be utilised as a walking path/cycleway through the town.