New Gaddagh Bridge Officially Opened

Released: 23 June 2008

The newly constructed Gaddagh Bridge was officially opened on Monday, June 23, by the Mayor of Kerry, Cllr Michael Healy Rae and Ceann Comhairle, John O’Donoghue TD.

The bridge, which was built at a cost of €1.35m, will replace the previous structure which was damaged in December 2006, following prolonged flooding of the Gaddagh River.

The new structure is a five arch reinforced concrete bridge, which was cast on-site and clad in masonry. The total length of the bridge is 70m, the same as its predecessor.

An important bridge on a busy local secondary road, the L7512 is one of the main routes into the Glencar area, and very important for tourism in the area, and in the wider South Kerry area.

The Gaddagh River and other rivers in the area are important from an angling point of view, with anglers using the road extensively during the fishing season.

When designing the bridge, the importance of the Gaddagh River as a salmonoid river, and tributary of the River Laune was recognised.

As a result, the South West Fisheries Board were consulted to ensure that there would be very little disturbance of the river during construction. In addition, a specially designed fish pass has been incorporated into the concrete apron on the bridge, to aid the passage of fish when the river level is low.

Malone O’Regan McGillycuddy Consulting Engineers designed the bridge, with Coffey Construction Ltd. Galway carrying out the construction of the bridge. Work started in September 2007 and finished in June 2008.

Funding has come from the Department of Transport through its EU Co-Financed Specific Improvement Grant for Non-National Roads.

Mayor of Kerry, Cllr Michael Healy Rae, congratulated all those involved in the construction of the bridge.

“This is a very important route in the Mid Kerry area, and it was terrific to see such efforts to get a new bridge in place as quickly as possible,” he said. “It will be a terrific boost to the local community and to the tourism industry to have this route opened once more.”

Ceann Comhairle John O’Donoghue also welcomed the re-opening of the route. “The importance of the Gaddagh River as a salmon spawning river cannot be underestimated,” he said. “The new bridge and the re-opening of the route will benefit the angling industry in the area and the local economy.”

Kerry County Council, Co. Buildings, Rathass, Tralee

Phone: (066) 718 3500     Email: info@kerrycoco.ie

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