IMPROVEMENT works on a major local waterway could create an extra 130 jobs in the region and generate some €12million over the next ten years.
A new report by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government has revealed that improvement works to the Barrow Navigation, which runs through counties Laois, Kildare, Carlow and Kilkenny, will cost around €9.525million. However, this is offset by an expected €11.7million in generated revenue.
The waterway is popular with all manner of recreational enthusiasts, but its full potential is currently restricted by the low arches of Graiguecullen Bridge and a natural rapid at St Mullins in Carlow, where navigation is restricted except close to high tide.
The report found that 61 per cent of users surveyed experienced difficulties in navigating the river and key constraints identified include flood waters and fast currents, overhanging trees and shallows on some parts of the river.
As The River Barrow is currently on the first step towards full Special Area of Conservation (SAC) status, the report determined that no inappropriate development or related activities take place.