A compound in the Golden Island area which was set up as part of the €114 million wastewater upgrade currently underway in Athlone.

Athlone wastewater tunnelling work at The Strand and Burgess Park to begin in new year

Uisce Éireann has announced that a new phase of Athlone's massive €114m wastewater system upgrade will begin early in the new year.

Tunnelling work which started in September in the Deerpark/Showgrounds area of Athlone is due for completion in early 2024, and the next phase of the project will involve tunnelling works at Burgess Park, The Strand, and the Upper Shannon Crossing, beginning in January.

"While these works are in progress, temporary traffic management measures will be put in place," Uisce Éireann stated.

It said micro-tunnelling - "an innovative technique used to install larger pipelines underground" - would be utilised during the Strand/Burgess Park section of work in order to minimise disruption to the community and environment.

The work is part of the Athlone Main Drainage Scheme, which will continue until the end of 2025 and is regarded as the largest singe infrastructure investment ever to happen in the town.

In a statement this morning (Tuesday), Uisce Éireann said progressing on the installation of almost 3km of underground sewer pipes would bring the project a step closer to the goal of reducing the risk of sewer flooding in Athlone, whilst addressing raw sewage overflows into the River Shannon.

It added that preparations for the next phase of the underground tunnelling works was underway at several locations in Athlone, "including the diversion of services in order to minimise the impact on the local community".

These preparatory locations include: Payne's Lane, Wolf Tone Terrace/Griffith St, The Strand Car Park, and The Quay (back of Sean's Bar).

Cathaoirleach of Westmeath County Council, Cllr Liam McDaniel, commented: "I am delighted to see the significant progress made throughout 2023 and the commencement of the next vital phase of the project in January.

"The provision of adequate wastewater infrastructure, not only for our existing population but for our future growth, is vital so that we are ready to meet the opportunities of the coming years.

"I would like to thank Uisce Éireann and Westmeath County Council and commend them for their hard work, 24/7, to ensure the continuity of critical drinking water and wastewater services."

Galway-based contractor Ward and Burke Construction Ltd is delivering the Athlone Main Drainage Scheme on behalf of Uisce Éireann Ltd, and the scheme is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2025.