A public consultation process has begun on the proposed Greenway along the former Kilbeggan branch of the Grand Canal linking Kilbeggan Harbour in Westmeath with Campbells Bridge, Ballycommon, in Offaly.
It's one part of the overall four-phase Grand Canal Greenway spanning some 79 kilometres.
The four phases of the project will link Edenderry with Tullamore, Lough Boora Discovery Park and the River Shannon, effectively linking the River Shannon to Kildare via the Grand Canal.
Offaly County Council in collaboration with Waterways Ireland is now proposing the development of a shared walking and cycling greenway route which will vary between two and three metres in width, along the towpath of the former Kilbeggan branch of the Grand Canal for a distance of 7.5km. This is phase 3 of the plan.
The council says this will provide a strategic national and regional link connecting the Royal Canal Greenway, and the Old Rail Trail in Westmeath with the Greenways to the south via the Grand Canal Greenway.
Phase one from Tullamore to Lough Boora includes 23km. Currently 11km of this has been completed, with more development to commence in summer 2019. It is expected to complete the link from Tullamore to Lough Boora Discovery Park in 2019.
Phase two from Edenderry to Tullamore is 33km long and planning approval was secured in June 2018 and this section will be constructed in the short term future, subject to funding.
Phase four will link Lough Boora Discovery Park at Turaun with the River Shannon and further potential links to Clonmacnoise, Athlone and Banagher and Ballinasloe.
The Grand Canal Greenway in Offaly has been billed as a major component of the Midlands Cycling Destination in Offaly and on a regional level, an attractive international cycling and walking offer.
All plans and particulars of the proposed development will be available for inspection or purchase until Thursday July 4. These can be accessed at the Planning Section of the Offaly County Council, Tullamore; Edenderry Municipal District; libraries at Tullamore, Daingean and Edenderry and Kilbeggan Library; and online.
Submissions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org on or before July 4 and submissions should be clearly marked GREENWAY.