Monday 16 September 2019

Bird's eye view of joined-up bridge

New images show Ireland's longest bridge in all its glory

Aerial photos courtesy of Páid Bates of Skypix.
Aerial photos courtesy of Páid Bates of Skypix.

Simon Bourke

As the countdown for the grand opening of the N25 New Ross Bypass continues apace new images reveal the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge in all its glory. At almost 900m long, the bridge will be the longest in Ireland upon its completion and an iconic landmark in the county. In comparison the River Suir bridge in Co Waterford measures just 465m.

Due to officially open in late October or early November of this year the closing deck section of the bridge is now complete. The bridge is part of a €230m bypass scheme which is expected to enhance the economic potential of the entire South East region. 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 15km long bypass scheme will improve safety and journey times for all road users and significantly ease traffic congestion in New Ross town. It will include 14km of dual carraigeway, diverting traffic from the N30 at Corcoran's Cross, before passing to the south of New Ross on the Wexford side of the Barrow River. Upon crossing the bridge it links up with the N25 Rosslare-to-Cork road near Glenmore.

Road works are substantially complete and the main focus of the 150 construction crew is now on the bridge's structural works. An extensive programme of finishing works including water proofing, surfacing, roadmarking, monitoring equipment and final safety inspections are due to be carried out in the coming months before the official opening in the last quarter of this year.

A community fundraising event, likely to be a cycle or run, is planned ahead of the opening and,it is hoped that a representative of the Kennedy family will attend the naming ceremony which is expected to occur on a different date to the official opening.

Rose Kennedy, after whom the bridge is named, was born in in Boston in 1890. She married Joseph Kennedy, the son of New Ross native Patrick, in 1914. They had nine children, one of whom was John F. Kennedy, future President of the United States.

The bridge had initially been expected to open earlier this year but Wexford County Council said the project was delayed due to the complexities of the construction. As it will be completed behind schedule,

contractors BAM may be liable to pay late fees as part of the public private partnership contract. Progressto date has been welcomed by the main stakeholders.

New Ross Standard