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Is Barry’s Bridge About To Collapse?

Major cracks appearing in surface of Barry’s Bridge. Also: Warn your children to watch out when using the Cathedral Street pedestrian crossing. Now read on.

Barry’s Seven-arch limestone road bridge in Thurles, Co Tipperary, has served the local population well; providing a primary passage across the river Suir. It was originally built circa 1650 and was again partially reconstructed circa again in 1820, widening its facade, adding safer pedestrian access.

Some 368 years later, its wedge-shaped tapered stone (voussoirs), used in the construction of its 7 arches have never once cried out seeking an upgrade, despite bearing on its back, on an average day, 850 cars with an average weight of 1.8 tons and some 46 trucks averaging between 9 and 23 tons unladen weight.

The failure by Tipperary Co. Council, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, and the Department of Transport, to deal with the now fractured surface first reported over a month ago, (December 26th 2017) now puts the bridge in grave danger of collapsing.

The failure over the past 16 years to provide the promised Thurles Bypass, begs the question can Barry’s Bridge continue to take the strain of modern heavy-duty vehicles.

One hundred and twenty yards away, in August 2017 last, a high sided truck made the careless decision to adjust the automated pedestrian crossing lights outside of Thurles Cathedral. The bulbs on this crossing used to feed motorised traffic information have been changed on two occasions since, yet the pedestrian information lights have not been realigned, leaving pedestrians unable to view the crossings signals, causing unnecessary delay to motorists. This is a busy crossing used by over 600 school children twice daily to get to and from rural school buses, not to mention the several hundred church pilgrims and local shoppers out walking each day.

Is it now time to undertake the action being used in connection with the Roran Road in Terryglass? Over 40 residents assembled in Terryglass Village Hall last night to further discuss their strategy going forward. Is it time to support them on behalf of all Tipperary road users?

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