Limerick residents 'raging' as repair works on bridge are halted

Aine Fitzgerald

Reporter:

Aine Fitzgerald

A photo of the bridge outsdie Elton this week with no work taking place on site

A photo of the bridge outsdie Elton this week with no work taking place on site

RESIDENTS near the village of Elton in County Limerick are “raging” after repair work ceased on a local bridge.

Detours which were put in place a fortnight ago as a result of the closure of the bridge near Elton caused “fierce confusion” and now residents are said to be even more perplexed.

“It is over a week now with no work being done on site.  Everybody is raging over it - people who live right beside it, mothers taking their children to Martinstown school who have to go way out of their way,” explained Margaret Reale, shop manager of Creed’s grocery shop in Elton.

“Nobody would be so upset if works were continuing.”

Ms Reale runs the business - which also includes a petrol station and is an agency for An Post - with her brother Robert Creed.

“It is having a fierce effect on business, it’s very quiet. There is no passing trade because the main road is shut.  The locals are staying as loyal as they can,” Ms Reale explained.

The bridge which has been closed since September 5 was initially due to remain closed until this Monday, October 2, to allow for what Iarnrod Eireann have described as “essential safety works” to be carried out.

The work consists of the installation of precast concrete units and a traffic barrier system on both approaches.

The date now being mentioned for the bridge reopening is October 21.

In correspondance sent to Deputy Niall Collins this week, Triona Heffernan, regional manager – Limerick Junction North, Iarnród Éireann said: “Regarding the stoppage of work on site last week, this is in relation to an issue with an existing water main.

"At design / tender stage, the plan was to protect the existing water main during works in its current location, however due to unforeseen issues on site regarding the water main, a meeting took place on site last week with Irish Rail, John Cradock Ltd (project supervisor construction stage)  and Limerick City and County Council where there was joint agreement that a permanent diversion of the water main is required for works to proceed.  

"John Cradock Ltd has forwarded on the necessary documentation regarding proposed permanent diversion to both Irish Water and the water department of Limerick City and County Council (LC and CC)and are currently waiting on formal approval.

“Irish Water and LC and CC are currently reviewing diversion proposal today, as soon as formal approval is given, John Cradock Ltd have committed to an immediate start on site and will provide additional resources to ensure the road will opened on October 21 as planned.”