THE towpath at Strabane Canal is set to be transformed over the coming weeks as a major improvement scheme gets underway this Monday.
Welcoming the news Leslie Hetherington, chair of the Brighter Ballymagorry Development Association (BBDA) explained the scheme would see the whole area opened up to walkers and canoeists.
“The pathways will be tarmaced right to the end of the towpath, the big metal fence which runs alongside the start of the walk will be removed and replaced with wooden fences. The steps at the end made accessible to canoes and waterusers – this will create a waterway link to Gribben Quay in Bready. A lot of the area is overgrown, that will be tidied up, but will be done in sections to allow the wildlife to move on to another part each time,” he explained. “We are delighted to see this work get underway, we have been working with the council and other agencies for a number of years so it’s brilliant to be at this stage.”
A spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District Council confirmed a section of Strabane Canal towpath will be closed from Monday, June 22 for refurbishment and improvement works as part of the Rivers Project. The work is expected to take 12 to 14 weeks.
“We see the potential of the canal for walkers and cyclists – around 400 people use it every day – and we would like to build even further on this work in the coming years,” Mr Hetherington explained.
“Ideally we could create a greenway that runs from the end of the canal to Burndennett and then back through Ballymagorry to Strabane, this in turn would link up with the Riverine greenway plans. There is so much potential in the canal”.