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Sunday 25 August 2019

Bridging the Barrow: Ireland's longest bridge is now almost complete

Meeting in the middle: TJ Reid of Kilkenny and Wexford’s Lee Chin get together on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge after the final section of the 900 metre-long, 230 metre-high crossing was put in place. Photo: Mary Browne
Meeting in the middle: TJ Reid of Kilkenny and Wexford’s Lee Chin get together on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge after the final section of the 900 metre-long, 230 metre-high crossing was put in place. Photo: Mary Browne

Ralph Riegel

Wexford has celebrated a double boost with the completion of the final deck section of what will be Ireland's longest bridge.

The closing deck section of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge on the N25 New Ross bypass has been completed - and hurling greats Lee Chin from Wexford and Kilkenny's TJ Reid posed for photographs at the scene to mark the occasion.

Both joked they hoped the next Wexford-Kilkenny meeting would be in Croke Park for the All-Ireland final.

It marked a double boost for Wexford with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar formally opening €400m-worth of M11 motorway projects last week, including the long-awaited Enniscorthy bypass which will slash 30 minutes off the Dublin-Wexford journey time.

The N25 New Ross bypass bridge - completed as part of a public private partnership scheme - is expected to open in autumn.

The bridge, spanning the River Barrow, will be the longest in Ireland at almost 900 metres.

Its two main central spans stand 230 metres in height and rank as the longest post-tensioned concrete spans of their type anywhere in the world.

The bridge is set to become an iconic landmark - and will ease congestion around one of Ireland's worst remaining traffic bottlenecks.

Upon completion, the 15km long bypass scheme will improve safety and journey times for all road users, ease traffic congestion in New Ross town and enhance the economic potential of the entire south-east region.

It is expected to also slash journey times between Waterford and Wexford.

Irish Independent

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