LOCALS in Ahiohill are hoping that a bridge in their area will be fixed before the end of this year, almost eight months after it collapsed.
The Abhainn Caoch bridge and adjoining road at Willsgrove has been closed since March 10th after it suffered structural storm damage.
Council officials said at the time that it wouldn’t be a ‘quick fix’ as the bridge had sunk and it would need detailed designs for its repair.Deirdre O’Regan of Ahiohill Tidy Towns said the closure had a disastrous knock-on effect on Ahiohill National School in particular.
‘Not only do the parents have to turn at the school twice a day, so too does the school bus and it’s an accident waiting to happen. The bus driver – who really is a saint – has to negotiate a very tight turning space, while keeping an eye out for school children at the same time,’ said Deirdre.
She added that they have been told that it won’t be fixed for another three months at the earliest and they fear that works could be pushed out to 2022 because works may be dependent on Inland Fisheries Ireland granting Cork County Council a derogation licence. A spokesperson for Cork County Council said that a consulting engineer was appointed in April to progress the design of the repair works, which was completed in May.
‘The proposed works require OPW consent under Section 50 of the Arterial Drainage Act 1945 and an application was submitted for consent in May.’
The process requires the development of drawings, hydraulic calculations and reports for approval by the OPW, who gave their consent in August. ‘Contract documents for the works were then prepared and issued for tender in September with a return date of October 4th. Subject to statutory approvals – which include the granting of a derogation licence from Inland Fisheries Ireland – the required works could commence in late October or early November.’
The works will take approximately three to four weeks to be completed.
‘Cork County Council thanks the local community for their patience,’ they added.