A Pproposal mooted 64 years ago to bridge Lough Lannagh, Castlebar, at Gillespie's Island, will hopefully come to fruition this summer.
It will be the final stage in linking both sides of the lake in what has become a major attraction for family outings and walking enthusiasts.
Members of Castlebar Town Council have sanctioned the spending of €600,000 to build a pedestrian bridge linking the walk on both sides of the lough.
The development in recent years of the walking paths on both sides of the lake have proven popular but an upper bridge to the island beside the Lough Lannagh Village is needed to complete the circuit.
It took an exhaustive and protracted period for the council to proceed to this stage with land acquisitations and site developments.
The walks were greatly enhanced last year with the opening of the new bridge at St. Gerald's College.
The walk on the Westport Road side takes a route along the old cemetery by the holiday village and ending at Gillespie's Island.
The Newport Road trek leads up to the castle and almost to the old point. There is just a short span needed to erect the footbridge to join up both routes.
When completed the lakeside walk will be a major tourist attraction with hopes in the future that it may be extended to Bilberry.
There was concern among councillors as to the cost of the single span bridge, with suggestions it could be put in place at a cheaper price.
Town manager Seamus Granahan said the council was obliged by legislation to follow procedures, which are in accordance with EU rules.
Six firms, he said, submitted tenders and one of them has since gone into liquidation.
He subsequently modified the contract documents in an effort to reduce costs and he requested the five remaining companies to submit new tenders.
Nobody was excluded from the process, he explained.
He would like to have seen Mayo firms involved in the project. But considering holding another tendering process at this stage would be in breach of regulations.
It is now time to get on with the process so the link can be completed for the benefit of the people of the town and visitors to the area.
This is an exceptional piece of infrastructure, which will, when fully commissioned, be the jewel in the crown of Castlebar, the national walking capital of Ireland.
Bridging the lake was first proposed in 1947. A lot of water has gone under the bridge in that time. Hopefully, footfall on the bridge will commence this summer.