Skip to main content

Athlone Main Drainage Scheme

Uisce Éireann has commenced works to upgrade the sewer network in Athlone.

Uisce Éireann, working in partnership with Westmeath County Council, has commenced works to upgrade the Athlone sewer network. When completed, this project will reduce the risk of sewer flooding in Athlone and address non-compliant sewer overflows into the River Shannon. It will also improve the capacity of the sewer network allowing for current and future population growth.

Currently, there are 18 storm water overflows within the Athlone Town main drainage system. There is frequent out of sewer flooding in the town due to insufficient capacity within the collection system. Additionally, the collection system has insufficient capacity to accommodate future population growth.

The existing overflows spill untreated wastewater into the River Shannon, which is designated as a sensitive area. Athlone Town is one of the locations cited in a European Court Judgement Case against the State for failure to comply with the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive (UWWTD) regarding the discharge of untreated stormwater into sensitive areas. This project will support a growing population, ensure compliance with the UWWTD and the EPA Wastewater Discharge Licence, and improve and protect the River Shannon.

Ward and Burke Construction Ltd. is delivering the Athlone Main Drainage Scheme on behalf of Uisce Éireann.

In progress

Project Update

Uisce Éireann alongside its delivery partner Ward & Burke Construction, is delighted to announce the successful completion of the first underground crossing of the mighty River Shannon. These tunnelling works which began in September 2023 in the Deerpark/Showgrounds area of Athlone were scheduled for completion in early 2024. The tunnel boring machine paved its way under the river, installing this critical pipeline and has now successfully arrived at Burgess Park.

The next phase of tunnelling works will commence this week from Burgess Park to Wolf Tone Terrace which will take approximately two months to complete. Following on from these works, tunnelling will commence from Golden Island to Paynes Lane with an estimated completion date of Summer 2024. 

Details of upcoming works:

Location Letters (A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H & Abbey Road N) – Shaft locations shown on map above.


Start Date

End Date

Planned Works

Traffic Management

A&B – McQuaid’s Bridge

Monday 13th May 2024

Friday 6th Sept 2024

Directional Drilling and Cross Connections.

Road Closure, alternative diversions in place.

A&B – Clonown Road

Monday 20th May 2024

Friday 23rd August 2024

Directional Drilling and Cross Connections.

Road Closure, alternative diversions in place.

A&B – Canal Banks

Monday 27th May 2024 

Friday 19th July 2024

Cross Connections.

Road Closure, alternative diversions in place.

- The Quay – Shannon Weir Apartments


Monday 24th June

Friday 26th July

Open cut swear installation works.

Traffic management will be in place alongside local and pedestrian access.

C & D – Deerpark Road Site Compound – The Showgrounds

February 2024



Material storage compound to facilitate the construction works.

Traffic Management not required.

E – Burgess Park

Monday, July 03rd 2023


Construction of shaft ahead of tunnelling works. (Early 2024) 

Traffic Management not required as all works taking place offline. Traffic flow as normal.

F & G – Golden Island Site Compound

January 2023


Construction of pumping station shaft at the Golden Island compound.

All works taking place offline, within compound perimeter. Site Signage in place.  


N - Abbey Road – St Vincents Entrance to Hanley’s Cash and Carry

Monday 29th April 2024

Friday 26th July 2024

Construction of shaft ahead of tunnelling works.

Road Closure, alternative diversions in place.

M - Coosan West Pumping Station (Clonbrusk)

Monday 15th January 2024

Q3 2024

Construction of pumping station shaft at Clonbrusk

All works taking place offline, within compound perimeter. Site Signage in place.  

I - Paynes Lane

Monday 8th July 2024

Wednesday 25th Sept 2024

Removal of Tunnel Boring Machine 

Road Closure, alternative diversions in place.

Deerpark Road Closures Diversion Map

Paynes Lane Diversion Route Map July 2024

What are the benefits of this project?

The works carried out as part of this project will:

  • Reduce the risk of overflows and out of sewer flooding through the provision of increased sewer sizes.
  • Improve the water quality in the River Shannon.
  • Increase the capacity of the sewer network allowing for development and population growth in Athlone.
  • Ensure compliance with Irish and EU wastewater legislation.

What is involved as part of this project?

The upgrade works carried out as part of this project will involve:

  • Constructing new pumping stations in Golden Island and Coosan West
  • Installing over 2.8 km of sewer network
  • Decommissioning five existing pumping stations
  • Decommission six existing stormwater overflows
  • Constructing two new stormwater overflows designed to Uisce Éireann standards
  • Connecting the new and existing sewer network together

As part of this project works will take place in the following locations: Golden Island, West Bank (The Quay), West Side, Abbey Road, Coosan West, The Strand, Burgess Park, Payne's Lane, and two separate tunnelled crossings under the River Shannon.

The new sewers are being installed using tunnelling techniques where feasible to minimise the impact on traffic in the town.

What are the next steps?

Contractor design and mobilisation commenced in January 2023. Shaft preparation works are now underway ahead of tunnelling to install the new sewer pipework, and works are also progressing at the Golden Island compound where a new pumping station and stormwater holding tank are being constructed.

Works on the project are due for completion in late 2025. We will endeavour to keep you updated as the project progresses

Uisce Éireann is continuing to liaise with the Office of Public Works (OPW) on its Athlone Flood Alleviation Scheme Project. We will work together to ensure proper coordination between the OPW's project and the Athlone Main Drainage Scheme, including ensuring there is minimal impact on the community.

Will there be traffic management in place?

As some works will be required along public roads, the project will require Traffic Management measures. Required traffic management to undertake the works safely will be developed in consultation with Westmeath County Council Roads Department. See details of upcoming works and associated traffic management measure below.

Typical traffic management measures may include temporary traffic lights, stop/go systems, road closures and diversions. Signs will be erected in advance of works commencing to ensure road users are aware of current and upcoming traffic measures.

Local access and emergency access will always be maintained and regular engagement with the community is planned throughout the project duration. We will provide further information on traffic management measures as the project progresses.

Stakeholder Engagement:

A dedicated Community Liaison Officer has been appointed for the duration of this project. If you require further information regarding the works, please contact Meghan on or 086 176 1401.

View all projects and plans

Visit our Projects section to find out what's happening in your area.