The ‘Town Enhancement Scheme’ or ‘Big Dig’ that has been taking place in the town has reached its halfway mark recently. The works, by SIAC Construction and Ryan Hanley Consulting Engineers, began their first phase of three at the beginning of the year, and have since reached near completion of that initial phase, with just Main Street left to be worked on.
Phase One works consisted of mostly underground workings around the town centre. This included the laying of sewers, water mains, ducts and all associated connections and fittings. These works were carried out on Society Street, resulting in a full road closure for a number of months, as well as St. Michael’s Square and Dunlo Street, where works are just finishing up on the lower portion of the street. On Dunlo Street, existing paths have been removed, with ducting being installed, as well as new kerbing, paving, street furniture being installed and services being put under ground. The main road will be resurfaced and new pavements are a real overture of how the new streetscape will.unfold for the next few decades. Once this section of the works is completed, works will continue towards Hayden's Hotel under a similar road closure. Works are scheduled to be completed in Dunlo Street by mid-September.
There is no plan to have works contrinuing during Fair week. Post Fair the refurbishments will continue at Central junction and then onto Main Street. These works are scheduled to be completed by January 2020. Once completed, the upgrading works will then proceed in Society Street again, starting at the Central junction and working out towards the Courthouse. As well as that, works have commenced to install a combined sewer from an existing manhole at the Civic building to an existing manhole at the Shearwater Hotel, located beside the R446.
Phase 2 of the scheme involves the works outside the town centre area. Throughout this phase, the contractor will continue working during the consolidation period for the town centre area, and works are sufficiently separated so that all works areas can be progressed at the same time. Due to this, no road closures are envisaged in this time. These works will take place by Sarsfield Drive, Bridge Street Outer, Church Street, Hymany Park, Creagh and St. Joseph’s Place.
Finally, Phase 3 works entail the completion of street enhancement works, involving laying of kerbs, footpaths, parking bays, road reinstatement, installation of new bins, benches, cycle stands, railings removal of existing lighting columns and overhead lines, installation of new lighting columns and lamps and planting of trees.
The works on Main Street are set to take place from September 2019 to January 2020, and Society Street’s works will take place from January 2020 to April 2020. The end goal of the ‘Town Enhancement Scheme’ is to have a 21st century town that’s attractive not only to its residents, but to customers from all over the hinterland. These works will lead to a more pedestrian friendly environment in the town centre, and alongside a traffic calming scheme, as well as a more welcoming streetscape hopefully creating a positive experience for visitors.
For more information on the Big Dig, keep posted to the Ballinasloe Life Facebook page, or visit ‘www.ballinasloetownenhancement.ie’ for further details.
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