As the closure of Caragh’s Liffey Bridge continues to disrupt our village and surrounding areas I aim to keep you informed of all developments. Please see below for the most recent updates and as always, do get in contact with any questions, suggestions, observations or comments.
Kildare County Council have been working on this issue as a priority. Following a meeting with KCC and Cradock engineers yesterday, I can now share some further insight into the planned works:
- A detailed repair plan will be finalised by the specialist contractor, Cradock, for submission to the Department of Heritage on September 10th.
- The Dept. are expected to approve this plan within 7-10 days giving KCC go ahead to begin work on-site in the week commencing Sept 21st.
- To speed up works in the meantime, KCC are working on the basis that permission has already been granted; (stones are being sourced, masons are testing materials, a plan for erecting scaffolding in the Liffey is being worked on and permission sought from Fisheries Dept.).
- All of this preparation work behind the scenes will allow contractors to get started as soon as permission is granted by the Department of Heritage.
- Repair work is expected to start in the week commencing Sept 28th and last for 4-6 weeks. This would give us a (weather dependant!) estimated finish date of early November.
Why will the work take 4-6 weeks?
This first step is to erect a scaffolding – complicated by the fact it needs to be set up in the Liffey. Due to the damage caused, the next step in the repair is to remove the remainder of the wall. This needs to be done with care so that the stones can be reused in the rebuild. Each part of this process is recorded on behalf of the Dept. Of Heritage. The rebuild process will be done with a lime mortar which is a very slow process of construction but will give the traditional look to the build required by Heritage standards.
The Quick-Fix Solution
Having made the suggestion to engineers that a bailey bridge might work it’s considered that problems surrounding the location, height, span and access to the crossing would rule this option out as a “quick-fix” solution.
I’ve suggested that the repair work could be done with the construction of a simple cement wall. It’s felt that if this solution were presented to the Dept. of Heritage it would certainly be rejected and ultimately delay repair works from starting.
Trucks Coming Through Caragh
Many people have spoken to me about the level of trucks travelling through our village. It’s an issue that has now come to the fore because of the bridge closure. A solution to this is still a while away but there certainly has to be a responsibility on the these companies to recognise the impact they have on the environment and local communities they travel through. Please feel free to email or call me to let me know your thoughts on what you’d like to see done (contact details below).
Support For Our Local Businesses
As always, keep up your support for our local shops who are struggling most during this time. I’m in contact with the businesses and hope to run an event to encourage more people to #ShopLocal in the coming weeks. If you have any ideas or would like to get involved in a community event please get in touch!