IN the light of the spectacular collapse of the viaduct crossing the Broadmeadows Estuary, Malahide Yacht Club who use the estuary, have taken the opportunity to inform its members of the history of the structure.
According to the club, the viaduct, known locally as ' The Arches', was originally built in 1844 and, together with the embankment, greatly changed the ecology of the estuary. The original was a remarkable structure built entirely of wood, comprising eleven spans of 50 feet length, the yacht club told its members. In 1860, a new iron bridge was built but they kept trains running during construction. The engineer in charge had a special stone office built for his use and this can still be seen today at the northern end. The viaduct was again replaced in 1966 and '67 with a wholly pre-cast scheme involving 2,100 tons of concrete units a staggering 43 miles of pre-stressing strand wire.
According to the club, it was thought to be the largest pre-cast superstructure in Ireland at the time. The work was carried out on Sundays at a cost of £83,000 but this time there was disruption to services with passengers being bussed from Malahide. Until last Friday, August 21st, the viaduct had 12 spans, not all of equal length, and was 577 feet in length.