SOME €200,000 has been allocated by Drogheda Borough Council for urgent repair works to St. Dominick's Bridge.
A recent underwater inspection of the bridge by CEI Collins Engineers Ltd, commissioned by Drogheda Borough Council, found the structure was in fair condition overall but a number of areas of advanced deterioration are in evidence.
The engineers recommended that all deteriorated splice plates and associated bolts are replaced as a matter of priority. They said the splice plates between the main girders are in a 'critical condition' with two plates having completely failed directly above Pier 2.
'Widespread areas of heavy corrosion and section loss are evident on all splice plates and bolts, with random bolts missing,' the report said.
The engineers recommended that the steel superstructure should be fully cleaned and a suitable protective coating applied to protect the long term serviceability of the structure. They also advised that consideration should be given to waterproofing the entire bridge deck to protect the long term serviceability of the structure.
They said localised spalling is evident to the reinforced concrete parapet edge beams and specialised testing should be carried out to determine if structureal concrete repairs are required to the edge beams.
On foot of the recommendations, Drogheda Borough Council have allocated €160,000 to repair works in 2012 under their Capital Works Programme this year with a further €40,000 allocated for next year.
It is recommended that the works advised in the report be carried out within the next 24 months.
The Structural Inspection and Assessment Report also made recommendations in respect of routine monitoring and inspections of the structure, including specialised testing and Borough Engineer Pat Finn said measures are being put in place to ensure these are complied with.
St Dominick's Bridge is a four span structure which dates back to 1863. Works were previously carried out to the bridge in the early 1960s.