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Cash crisis could fell Fairview footbridge

A DUBLIN footbridge used by over 500 people a day could be removed -- because council bosses don't have the money to upgrade it.

Dublin City Council is considering taking away the overpass at Fairview on the northside and replacing it with pedestrian lights at street level.

However, the proposal has already raised eyebrows, with one local representative raising safety concerns.

Nevertheless, the council stated a new footbridge would cost €2m, while an upgrade would come to €250,000 -- cash the council doesn't have.

Cllr Sean Kenny (Lab) told the Herald it would be "very difficult" to have an "at-grade" pedestrian crossing, given the numbers of cars and buses on the road.

"That stretch of Fairview is very busy -- there's a high traffic density. I'm a bit surprised by the proposal," he said.

An inspection revealed the bridge is being used by about 40 persons per hour throughout day-time hours.

However, the report showed, it is "inaccessible for mobility impaired and disabled users".

The crossing does not include a canopy "to prevent objects falling, or being thrown, from the bridge", the report added.

In addition, the bridge supports "are close to live traffic and are not provided with heavy barrier protection".

"The level of corrosion protection, painting and maintenance works on the bridge requires improvement," it said.





Replace

The council concluded that, to address all of the issues, "it would be necessary to replace the existing bridge with a new bridge".

The estimated price tag of a new footbridge is at least €2m. To maintain the existing bridge would cost an estimated €250,000.

However, the council noted the road maintenance budget does not include "sufficient resources" for either of these options.

Therefore, a further option of removing the existing bridge and the installing "an at-grade signalised pedestrian crossing in the vicinity of the existing bridge" is being considered.

hnews@herald.ie


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