WATERFORD’S newest leisure facility has been officially opened. The John’s River Cycle and Walkway was officially opened by Mayor of Waterford City & County John Cummins on Friday, August 28th.
The impressive route stretches for six kilometres from Rice Bridge, Scotch Quay, Bolton Street, through the People’s Park, onto Poleberry, along the Waterside and onto the Tramore Road and Kilbarry Bog and Nature Park.
At the official opening, Mayor Cummins took a walk along the new route from Kingfisher Club along John’s River Walk and onto the brand new 3.5 km cycleway.
The opening of the route also marked the completion of Phases 2, 3 and 4 of the city’s Flood Alleviation Scheme.
The development of the cycleway was made possible thanks to the Office of Public Works (OPW)and the funding for the Flood Alleviation Scheme – €12,000,000 of which was spent on Phases 2, 3 and 4.
Construction on the Flood Alleviation Scheme has been ongoing since 2008 and while the main function of the scheme is to deliver flood defences for Waterford City, an extra effort went into ensuring that the riverside amenities were both protected and enhanced by the flood barrier.
It’s expected that the final phase of the Flood Alleviation Scheme will be completed next year.
Also in attendance at the opening ceremony, were Councillors Breda Brennan, John Hearne, Jim Griffin, Cha O’Neill, Senator Maurice Cummins, Chief Executive Michael Walsh, Cyril McCarthy of the OPW and members of the design team and contractors Niall Barry.
Mayor Cummins acknowledged the presence of two local groups associated with health and fitness- Balance Fitness and Waterford Cycling Tours.
“The interest from fitness and leisure groups has been phenomenal and I know their clients will be very happy with the finished product,” he said.
“As Mayor I would encourage people to join those groups and others in exploring this wonderful new addition to our city’s rich amenity assets.”
Donal Jacob of Waterford Cycling Tours said he was looking forward to leading his tour groups along the Johns River Cycleway and had already have groups booked in to use the facility.