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Official opening of N56 Bruckless Bridge by Mr. Leo Varadkar T.D. Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport

 

Today Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr. Leo Varadkar T.D. will officially open the N56 Bruckless Bridge.

 

It has long been recognised that the old Creamery Bridge at Bruckless posed a hazard to road users due to the very poor road alignment at the bridge. Throughout the years the 90-degree bend at the bridge was responsible for many parapet and safety barrier impacts. In addition to the safety concerns, in more recent years the bridge had become a pinch point on this strategically important link to the Port of Killybegs and as the main route to west and North Donegal.

 

In 2010, the NRA Bridge Management section based in the NRDO Donegal Town developed preliminary design options to improve the situation at the bridge. From consultations with Killybegs shipping service it was established that large commercial vehicles carrying wind turbine rotor blades with lengths of up to 50m would frequently travel this route following their delivery to the Port of Killybegs. The overall design of the scheme would have to accommodate the movement of these large vehicles.

 

In December 2010, the Bridge Management section delegated with overall responsibility set about procuring consultants for developing the design of the scheme. Roughan & O’Donovan, consulting engineers, were appointed by the NRA to undertake the design in January 2011.

 

Design options were established and given careful consideration with respect to the impact on local residents, cost, fitness for purpose, practicality and safety. A finalised option was agreed in May of 2011. Land sale agreements were established between Donegal County Council and the affected landowners, a Part 8 planning process was approved and number of contractors prequalified to tender. In order to complete the bridge works it was necessary to divert the channel underneath the new structure. Given the sensitive nature of the Calhame River and its close proximity to its discharge point into Donegal bay, consultations were made with Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) in order to establish an agreed design and the best method for progressing works. A lightly reinforced concrete lined channel of length 58m and consisting of a series of intermittent baffles was recommended as the design solution by the IFI. In August 2011 the scheme went to tender and Coffey Construction (I) Ltd. were awarded the contract.

 

Works commenced in October 2011. The works involved the construction of 200m of road realignment and a new bridge with a span of 8m. The curvature of the bend increased from approximately 30m to 90m. Two substantial retaining walls were constructed to maintain appropriate vertical road geometry and provide safety to local residents. Over 1150 cubic metres of in situ concrete and 205 tonnes of steel were used to construct the scheme. The scheme was successfully complete in the beginning of May 2012.

 

28 March 2014

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