Fine Gael County Councillor Micheal Carrigy
The bridge at Soran-Aughashannagh, which was due to be renovated, is now to be replaced after it collapsed in recent weeks.
Granard’s local representatives were informed of the news as Cllr Micheál Carrigy sought an update on works following a presentation of the Granard MD schedule of works for 2020, which includes an overall budget of €208,000 for bridge works.
Mr David Coppinger, Senior Executive Engineer Longford county council, said: “The Aughnashannagh-Soran bridge collapsed literally as the contractor had arrived.
“They have now changed from trying to repair the bridge, to literally replacing the bridge.
“I was told by the road design section that the timescale will still be something similar, as the restoration was very slow whereas the new build is literally digging out the old bridge and casting a new bridge in situ.
“We are still talking about sometime around the end of March,” he added.
Cllr Carrigy then asked about the type of replacement to be installed.
Mr Coppinger replied: “They are going to use the existing stone to face it so it won’t look that much different, but it will be a false stone wall, the bridge itself will actually be concrete.
“It will be dressed with the stone to make it look like a stone bridge.”
When on the subject, Cllr Carrigy then sought an update on the potential for works to be carried out on the road which is in use while the bridge is out of commission - the Esker Soran road.
“Because of the bridge being closed, the smaller road is being used and it's getting out of shape with a lot of HGV traffic on it in recent months.”
Mr Coppinger confirmed that half of the road is on the programme for the coming year, with the other half to be included on next year’s programme.
“Hopefully the other half will be on the programme for next year. There are limits to the funding, but it will be,” he said.
“If a portion of the road was to deteriorate, we might have to move which stretch we work on, depending on which is worse.”
Under the schedule of works in Granard MD for 2020, a total of €50,000 is earmarked for the Soran /Aughnashannagh bridge.
Camagh North Bridge, Cooldony, Abbeylara bridge has been allocated €30,000, with €45,000 for Clonbrony bridge and €33,000 for the Melkagh/Esker bridge.
A total of €50,000 will be spent on the reparation of Kiltycreevagh bridge and Cllr Garry Murtagh sought an update on the timescale of the project.
Mr Coppinger outlined: “There is no change in relation to the Kiltycreevagh bridge since the last meeting.
“It is the roads design section that is dealing with this. They are still awaiting the contract documents for three bridges that will be tendered as soon as we get them, and the Kiltycreevagh bridge is one of those three bridges.”
Cllr Garry Murtagh asked: “Is there no way of speeding that up?”
Mr Coppinger replied: “It is with the consultant at this stage.”