Two bridges on the N24 Limerick to Waterford route were due to be replaced last October; then it was put back to this week and now the Leader has learned it will be next August.
As well as the further delay for motorists, only Oola bridge will be replaced by Irish Rail and not Brooke’s bridge.
“Temporary” traffic lights, that only allow one lane of traffic to cross at a time, have been in place at Oola bridge since March 2011. One of the abutments of the bridge, located on the Tipperary side of the village, is substantially weakened so they are keeping vehicles off that side.
During peak traffic times drivers can be held up for up to 20 minutes.
Councillors at a Castleconnell Electoral Area committee meeting said they are being inundated by phonecalls from angry motorists, locals and business owners, who say they are losing money due to the fall off in trade.
“It’s gone on now for 12 months and people are at breaking point. Their patience is wearing very thin. Livelihoods are being diminished and road users are being seriously discommoded,” says Cathaoirleach Mary Harty, who added that surely there is a safety concern with traffic continuing to travel over a bridge that was due to be replaced months ago.
A senior engineer with the county council roads department said last July that “both bridges are in serious trouble”.
Trains from Limerick to Limerick Junction run underneath the bridges owned