Troubled waters for temporary bridge plan

by Sylvia Pownall

A PEDESTRIAN bridge will be provided while the main access route to Portmarnock is closed for repair – but locals say it’s not enough to prevent traffic chaos.
Fingal County Council confirmed on Tuesday that a temporary footbridge would be installed between Strand Road and Station Road during the works, which are due to start on September 12.
However, Cllr Brian McDonagh (Lab) said: “While I am happy pedestrians will be catered for, I would still like to see a temporary bridge for vehicles, even one-way traffic.”
Local businesses have warned that the bridge’s closure – needed to replace corroded steel beams and repair a vertical crack on the abutment – will deal a hammer blow to trade.
Pedestrians are also less than happy with the lengthy detour to the DART station suggested by the local authority, since part of the route along Blackberry Lane is poorly lit and has no footpath.
In a statement to The Gazette earlier this week, Fingal County Council said the bridge works were prioritised after a safety inspection.
A spokesperson added: “A temporary path and bridge will be provided to the west of the bridge for the duration of the closure.
“Dublin Bus have been advised and are examining the implications on the current bus routes.”
Traffic engineers are liaising with gardai and emergency services and signage will be erected along approach routes.
But Cllr McDonagh, who lives in Portmarnock, said: “I am asking the council to fully investigate the possibility of a temporary road bridge as well as a footbridge.
“As of yet, the council haven’t even got a costing for a full bridge.
“This will affect anyone who lives, works, shops, socialises or goes to school in Portmarnock, with a huge knock-on effect to surrounding areas.
“The Malahide Road will come under particular pressure.”
Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee (FF) said: “The bridge is essentially the only viable access route into Portmarnock, which has a population of 10,000 people.
“The closure of the bridge will make it difficult for emergency services to access the village. It is simply unacceptable for the main access road to be closed without an adequate alternative route being provided.”

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