Sallins to Hazelhatch section of Grand Canal Greenway opens

— Work on link from Kildare/Dublin border to city part of greenway to get underway in 2024.

Ireland’s latest section of greenway has yet to be officially opened, although members of the public are taking advantage of the 11km section of Grand Canal Greenway from Sallins to Hazelhatch in Co Kildare.

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The project includes a new bridge across the canal in Sallins that was lifted into place in August. The new bridge is reportedly helping local trips such as access to a school.

On the open access to the greenway, one Twitter user said: “New Greenway in Ireland, Sallins to Hazelhatch fully open now, part of Grand Canal Greenway.”

The section of the greenway just opened runs from Sallins to Aylmer Bridge at the Kildare/Dublin boundary. Then there’s a further short section of the Royal Canal Way already paved from Aylmer Bridge to Hazelhatch Bridge, from there it’s about 600 metres along a regional road to Hazelhatch and Celbridge train station.

Connection to Dublin delayed

Much like issues faced on the Royal Canal, a connection to the urban area of Dublin is delayed, but the problem should be solved much quicker on the Grand Canal with planning permission already approved and South Dublin County Council soon going to tender. The work on the route from Hazelhatch to 12th Lock beside Adamstown is expected to get underway early in 2024 and take 12 months.

A question by Cllr Shane Moynihan (FF) asked the South Dublin County Council chief eecutive for an update and projected completion date for the Grand Canal extension to Hazelhatch.

The official reply said: “It is intended to re-tender the construction of the Greenway from 12th Lock to Hazelhatch, in Q4 2023 and commence construction in Q1 2024. Construction of the project is estimated to take 12 months.”

City problems

From 12th Lock at Adamstown to Blackhorse Bridge in Inchicore the route opened in 2010. But this section has been plagued by issues around barriers that have hindered or fully blocked legitimate users. And – according to some users — made attacks on them more likely and worse by helping attackers “ambush passers-by”.

The currently opened urban section of the greenway in Dublin is managed by South Dublin County Council, with a small section within the Dublin City Council area. South Dublin has experimented on how wide it leaves the barriers open, but users of the route who have been attacked along it say that the barrier causes pinch points that make attacks more likely.

Recently a regular user told that most of the gates are opened wider now but the two that are not means some users have to detour off the canal route.

The Dublin City Council missing link between Blackhorse to Portobello is also stalled. Whild the Grand Canal Greenway is also at different stages of planning and development west of Sallins.

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