Cautious welcome for funding for Bridge Rehabilitation and Safety Scheme Works in Ardfinnan and Newcastle – Lonergan
Independent County Councillor for Clonmel/Cahir Borough District, Martin Lonergan has in a statement today, cautiously welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross of €800,000 towards works on Ardfinnan Bridge and indeed funding towards works on two Bridges in Newcastle and Safety Improvement Works at Outerath, Cahir. While €800,000 has been allocated for works on Ardfinnan Bridge, there remains immense opposition to proposals by the Local Authority to erect permanent traffic lights on the bridge, reducing it to one lane according to Councillor Lonergan who again called on the Local Authority to repair and return the bridge to normal use, and facilitate pedestrians by other means such as with the erection of a cantilever bridge or a stand-alone pedestrian bridge over the River Suir. Newcastle Bridge on the River Suir has been allocated €96,885 and the Tar Bridge in Newcastle has received a further €30,000 under the Bridge Rehabilitation Works on Regional and Local Roads. Safety Improvement Works at Outerath, Cahir have received €40,000 under this years scheme. “While I welcome the allocation of €800,000 for Ardfinnan Bridge, the devil is in the detail of Tipperary County Councils application and their intention to reduce the bridge to single lane traffic, which is opposed locally. I would again urge the Local Authority to re-visit proposals for the erection of a cantilever or stand-alone pedestrian bridge over the River Suir and listen to the people of the area. I want to thank Minister Ross and his Officials who at the request of Deputy Mattie McGrath visited Ardfinnan last year to inspect the bridge for themselves. Unfortunately however, his Department can only proceed with the application as submitted by the Local Authority and I have again sought clarification from the Council on their application and their proposals. I welcome funding for two bridges in Newcastle over the River Suir and the River Tar, amounting to over €126, 900,” concluded Councillor Lonergan.