Caragh’s Liffey Bridge Potentially Closed For Months

Sever damage caused to the bridge on Saturday evening may see it out of action for weeks or even months

Sever damage caused to the bridge on Saturday evening may see it out of action for weeks or even months

Following a collision on Saturday evening the oldest bridge over the river Liffey has been closed until further notice. The impact of a tractor to the parapet of the bridge has left a long section of the bridge dangerously unguarded from the drop to the river below.

Kildare County Council engineers assessed the damage on Saturday evening and quickly established a detour route.

I’ve been in contact with the area engineer and we’ve been to see the damage to the bridge which is considerable. The bridge was subject to safety works only last year but the impact was so severe that there’s no option other than to close the route to traffic.

Records note that the bridge may have been in place as early as 1656. Being the oldest bridge over the river Liffey however, has added complications to the repair works.

This bridge is a preserved structure – a national monument – and as such, Kildare County Council cannot touch it until engineers are given Departmental approval.

I’ve been told that such are the nature of the works required that the bridge could even be closed to traffic for a period of months. This will have major implications on both people travelling from and through the village and on Thomastown residents who will see heightened traffic on what is already an extremely busy rural route.

There is no doubt that this will also have a very serious impact on the few local businesses in Caragh who now find themselves situated in a cul de sac.

This morning I’ve written to the Transport Minister, Paschal Donohoe to highlight the two solutions that are now required in the short and medium term:

  1. All financial and clerical assistance needs to be made immediately available to KCC so that bridge works can be completed as fast as possible
  2. Capital funding must now be expedited for a new bridge crossing the Liffey in Caragh.

A new bridge has been talked about for decades but unless plans are progressed in the very near future we are facing serious traffic accidents and the isolation of an entire village.

This entry was posted in Caragh, Kildare, Maintenance, Naas LEA, Road Works and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Caragh’s Liffey Bridge Potentially Closed For Months

  1. Eric Molimard says:

    Hi Rob, the bridge was repaired last year using normal blocks that are very visible when you approach it from the Caragh side so there was not much concern there about keeping its looks. In my opinion the bridge should be rebuilt as a double lane bridge, I don’t think anyone will miss it.

    • Robert Power says:

      Hi Eric, there have been plenty of patch-work repairs over the years so needless to say much of the parapet does not consist of original work. It’s still important to preserve history where we can and I don’t think we should be settling for anything less than a new bridge which can cater for modern day traffic.

      • Michael Houlihan says:

        While they’re at it stick in a couple of speed restrictions (ie. speed ramps before and after the railway bridge) as a pedestrian will be killed walking along there. Lots of kids use to to go to yhe GAA grounds. Traffic goes too fast here and footpath is very narrow.

  2. Linda Condo says:

    The Caragh road from Naas to Dag’s including the bridge in question and the village of Carah are used by heavy duty Dump lorries that have trashed the road in places. Repairing the bridge isn’t enough, it needs to widened with the Old Bridge incorporated into it. Traffic restrictions should also be put in place to force the very large lorries that come from every part of Ireland to Dreid dump through Carah bridge and Caragh village onto the main roads as was intended in the planning stage for Dreid dump.

  3. JIM MC GRATH says:

    thought needs to be applied here,the alternative routs are not sufficent for the large trucks which
    move along this route or there will be another bridge at the railway demolished and or someone seriously injured or killed ,come on kcc get your thinking caps on NOW

  4. Michael Houlihan says:

    Seemingly this work that needs to be carried out (and its only a hole in the wall) needs to be approved by the heritage council who are a voluntary group and won’t be meeting until November. The OPW can put everything in place to do the work but need the approval of this council as its protected structure and they won’t be told to meet earlier! That is the reason for the delay! It’s not a stone fort in a field its a main thoroughfare for residents, business and access. Its a joke and it should be take out of their hands. Jobs and businesses will be lost over this. Kids cant get to school as the school buses wo’t come to Caragh. Time to see local representatives step up to the plate immediately and get this sorted. The silence is deafening. Guaranteed it wouldn’t happen in Killiney.

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