CLONBONY Bridge on the N67 reopened on Wednesday, following the completion of significant repair works.
The bridge had been closed to vehicular traffic since September 11, after significant flooding in the area. Subsequent inspections of the bridge identified structural damage to one of the abutments, necessitating the closure of the bridge and the re-routing of traffic on the road, which is part of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.
Kilmihil-based L & M Keating Ltd was appointed in late September to carry out the required bridge remediation works.
“Business and residents of Miltown Malbay are delighted that the works have been completed ahead of schedule and now want to send a clear message that the town is very much open for business again,” said Councillor Christy Curtin, chair of West Clare Municipal District.
“The unprecedented flooding that occurred in West Clare in September took everybody by surprise and it caused significant disruption on the roads, the effects of which were felt most keenly in Miltown Malbay,” he said.
“In spite of the difficulties in determining the extent of the damage to the bridge, due to high water levels and the procurement challenges normally associated with a project of this nature, the fact that this bridge is now available again to facilitate normal service in such a short period of time is a credit to many working together to ensure minimisation of inconvenience and business disruption to the people of Miltown Malbay.”
Clare County Council said the works carried out incorporated the temporary diversion of the river so that the required works could be carried out in the dry, the temporary removal of mature and semi-mature trout using electro-fishing techniques, the construction of a new concrete base beneath the river bed extending upwards to support the abutments, the provision of scour defence structures to protect both abutments, and the effective reconstruction of the river bed to ensure reconstitution of a natural environment to promote fish life. Repointing work was also carried out on all of the stone masonry incorporated throughout the entire bridge structure using natural hydraulic lime mortar, in accordance with best conservation practice.