A political row is threatening to erupt over the closure of a bridge in south Longford.
Located in the rural confines of Legan, Corrycorka Bridge has, according to Sinn Fein spokesperson Edel Kelly been closed for the best part of 12 months.
And with little or no sign of improvement works being undertaken, the situation has left more and more local motorists facing long delays.
“The bridge is located between the Legan town lands of Corrycorka and Kilglass, and was damaged a year ago ironically during road improvements,” she said.
“A number of local residents have complained at the delay in the reopening of the bridge, as it means a diversion of miles for some.”
Besides the added inconvenience of traffic interruptions, Ms Kelly said the close proximity of Kilglass graveyard had also thrown up additional headaches for locals.
“When there’s a funeral it causes mayhem, as people can’t continue on the by-road and have nowhere safe to turn,” she said.
Now, the Sinn Fein representative is asking for county council officials to step in and erase any fears work on the bridge may be shelved indefintely.
Reacting to those fears this week, Longford TD James Bannon dismissed Ms Kelly’s claims, revealing also that government monies of over €100,000 had been ring-fenced for Curracorkey bridge.
“There is an allocation of €110,000 for the bridge this year and the council hope to commence work on it soon. It would be health and safety issue if it was left open,” he maintained.
Deputy Bannon, himself a Legan native, also stressed the bridge’s enforced closure had impacted little on people’s ability to get too and from Kilglass graveyard.
He said any claims to the contrary were “wide of the mark, wrong and misleading”, as he rounded on the anxieties expressed by Sinn Fein’s Edel Kelly.
“The council spent money last year in fact widening the road down to the graveyard, so no we (government) haven’t been caught sleeping on the issue despite what Sinn Fein might say,” he added.
The €110,000 set aside for Corrycorka Bridge is part of a €4.6m windfall assigned to regional roads this year by the Government for regional and local road improvements.