It was a landmark day for Ballymahon last Friday morning - and quite literally as the landmark White Bridge was officially opened in Newcastle Woods.
The White Bridge was once the connection between both sides of Newcastle Woods, which is dissected by the River Inny.
However, the original bridge was dissembled in 1963 by the Board of Works to facilitate drainage works, with the promise to reinstate it.
More than half a century later, the bridge has finally been reinstalled and the two sides of the river are joined again, with access to a beautiful, seven kilometre route, which goes around the perimeter of the new Center Parcs Longford Forest resort.
There were a number of politicians and local representatives on hand last Friday morning for the official opening of the bridge and the unveiling of a plaque beside it, including Minister for the OPW Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran who was on hand to officially cut the ribbon, opening the new bridge to the public.
Cathaoirleach of Ballymahon Municipal District Pat O’Toole was particularly delighted with the development.
“Frank Small and Donal Mac An Bheatha were the two people who first mentioned it when the initial Center Parcs consultations began,” he told the Longford Leader following the official opening.
“It’s a fabulous facility for the area because now you can cycle or walk across the bridge and then complete a seven kilometre route around the Centre Parcs complex.
“Hopefully we’ll see the completion of a cycleway from Ballymahon to Newcastle Woods soon,” he concluded.