WORK to construct a pedestrian walkway at the Quin Road Railway Bridge adjacent to Ennis Train Station will start in the near future, according to Clare County Council.
For more than 18 months, residents of the Quin Road area, as well as rail commuters using Ennis Railway Station, had raised the dangers of crossing the road on the Quin Road Railway Bridge.
Local Fine Gael Deputy Joe Carey has also raised the issue on a number of occasions and was informed this week that the work had been authorised and would commence in the near future. “This is an issue which I have pursued for some time. It’s an absolute miracle that a pedestrian has not been killed while negotiating this dangerous bridge. I’m delighted that this much needed work will go ahead. The provision of a safe pedestrian walkway at the Quin Road Railway Bridge will be a welcome relief for pedestrians and motorists alike,” he commented.
Tom Tiernan, senior engineer with Clare County Council, confirmed that the council is leading this project, which also involves Iarnród Éireann and the Railway Safety Commission. “The tendering process is complete and a contractor will be appointed in the coming weeks. The work will involve the construction of a pedestrian bridge, complete with ramps, to facilitate disabled users. The entire project is being undertaken on Iarnród Éireann property.
“The new pedestrian bridge will run directly alongside the existing vehicular bridge. Pedestrians will divert into the bridge, which is quite a lengthy structure, and it will take them all the way into the grounds of the railway station,” Mr Tiernan explained.
He could not give a definite timescale for the commencement of the work, as the contractor has to be appointed, but the council is working on the basis that work would begin within the next few months and quite likely before Christmas.
“When the work will actually begin will depend on different processes involving Iarnród Éireann and the Railway Safety Commission, who analyse structures which are to be provided either over, under or beside a railway line,” he added.
The bridge is being funded entirely by development levies collected by Clare County Council.
“The intention of the pedestrian bridge is to enhance pedestrian safety to and from the station, particularly from the Quin side, and for general pedestrians walking east or west on the Quin Road, as well as for cyclists, who will also use the bridge. The intention is that they will get off their bicycles on the bridge and walk with their bicycles,” Mr Tiernan commented.
The total cost of the work is estimated at €400,000.