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Restoration Of Portumna Bridge Nearing Completion

Section of the bridge being replaced in 2008.

Bridge being replaced in 2008.

Restoration work currently being undertaken on Portumna Bridge is nearing completion.  A  works programme costing in the region of €2 million has been underway, on this five-span road bridge over the Shannon, since October of last year.

North Tipperary Co Council have now been informed that this prolonged works on the Bridge, originally designed by C. E. Stanier of London as the largest early-twentieth century swivel bridge in Europe, should be completed by mid July of this year.

The Shannon River at this point consists of two channels divided by ‘Hayes Island,’ the one on the North Tipperary side being about 79 m (260 ft) wide, and that on the Galway side being about 73 m (240 ft) wide.

Each channel is spanned by three pairs of mild-steel plate girders, either 24 m (80 ft) or 27 m (90 ft) in length, resting on 3 m (9 ft) diameter concrete-filled cast-iron cylinders.

This present restoration works follow on from the 2008 replacement of the vehicular crossing of the bridge, which has served as a key crossing point on the Shannon for North Tipperary, South Offaly and East Galway since it was first construction in 1911. This latter replacement work was completed during a 9 day road closure of the N65 at Portumna, with the road being re-opened ahead of schedule.

The present work is being overseen by the National Roads Authority, with the contract being carried out by specialists L&M Keating engineers. The work is being carried out under difficult working conditions, with traffic being managed by the installation of a traffic light system, which has resulted in traffic tailbacks on both sides of the bridge, causing understandable, yet necessary, annoyance to both workers, travellers and local business in the area.

So if you are travelling in that direction over the next month, do plan your journey to allow for some delays.

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