The introduction of the one-way traffic system in Athlone has been deferred until later this year.
The system which Westmeath County Council had previously indicated would be introduced in August will not now come into effect until some time in late October to mid November.
And work on the upgrade of Church Street, with which the introduction of the one-way traffic system is tied up, will now commence in mid-November.
The €3m project is designed to regenerate the ailing main street of Athlone.
In a press release issued today, following an in-committee meeting of councillors, the council said: "The formal procurement of the main contractor will commence before the end of August and on this basis, it is anticipated that the main contract works will commence in mid November.”
The statement further added that the “introduction of the one way system will be timed to coordinate with the commencement date for the main paving contract”.
A council spokesperson told the Westmeath Independent that this meant that when the appointed contractor indicated a start date, the council would move on site in advance and introduce the one-way system ahead of the contractor starting work.
However, any delays in this timeline could see the one-way system being introduced in the midst of the Christmas shopping season.
The full council statement is, as follows:
The projected timeline for this project, which is supported under the EU Urban Designated Fund, was outlined at the June District meeting. This indicated that works outside of Church Street at Coosan Point Road, the Crescent junction and Mardyke Street junction, erection of signage and changes to traffic lights would commence in June. It was also anticipated that works on Church St would commence in August (by the Council) and the main contractor would commence in October (with a 10 month works programme).
Works have commenced on the junctions away from Church St and the procurement of signage and traffic lights is underway. The formal procurement of the main contractor will commence before the end of August and on this basis, it is anticipated that the main contract works will commence in mid November. Advance works by the Council on Church Street will commence in September under two way traffic and the introduction of the one way system will be timed to coordinate with the commencement date for the main paving contract.