THE KENNEDY name is being considered for the new 900-metre bridge at the Pink Rock.
Town Manager Eamonn Hore told the first meeting of New Ross Municipal District on Wednesday that considering the location of the Wexford side of the bridge, which will be less than one mile from Dunganstown where John F Kennedy's ancestors lived, that the John F Kennedy Bridge name could be considered for it.
He said it could be twinned with the Robert F Kennedy Bridge in New York and could become a tourist attraction.
Mr Hore said: 'It will be a spectacular bridge, the longest in Ireland. It comes out less than a mile from Dunganstown, the homestead of the Kennedys. There will be three towers on it.'
The submission of tenders for the New Ross Bypass and the new bridge is in September, with work due to begin in April 2015.
Cllr Larry O'Brien highlighted the need for a roundabout at Marshmeadows to address the massive influx of traffic into the town.
Mr Hore said the deadline for the submission of tenders is September 16 and the contract will be awarded in April, 2015.
'There will be a 36 month construction period and the bridge will take 30 months to complete,' Mr Hore said, adding that they will be built simultaneously at a cost of €228 million.
Cllr O'Brien said the roundabout will have to be in place before the bypass is completed, adding that the N25 will have to be upgraded.
'We don't want to have the new road and suddenly there's a huge amount of traffic coming into town from that direction with no roundabout installed in advance.'
Mr Hore said the roundabout is listed as a priority by the NRA, as is a roundabout at Mannion's pub.
He said neither roundabout is covered through funding for the bypass.
'The roundabout at Marshmeadows is listed in the New Ross & Environs Development Plan so it is ready to go.'
Independent Cllr Martin Murphy asked if this funding could be in place in advance of the road works being completed but Mr Hore said there is no guarantee of this.
Mr Hore said the bypass will lessen the delay driver's experience travelling through New Ross.
'All the radio announcements of one hour delays in New Ross will be a thing of the past.'
Fianna Fáil Cllr John Fleming asked if the Clonroche road will be improved and Mr Hore said there is residual money from the bypass for these works.
Cllr Fleming said Wexford Bridge was once the biggest in the country and it's great that the county will once again have the biggest bridge.
His party colleague Cllr Michael Whelan asked if any Irish companies are in for the bypass project and Mr Hore said it is mainly consortiums.
Cllr Whelan said: 'As someone who is unemployed from construction at the moment it would be great (if an Irish company got it). Some of the consortiums are bringing in foreign labour.'
Mr Hore assured him that there will be a lot of jobs created in the locality from the three year project.
New Ross Standard