Work To Begin Again On Barry’s Bridge – Whenever

The word on every person’s lips here in Thurles today is ‘JEEP’ – which as you know stands for ‘Jump Excitedly into Every Pothole’.

Around the year 1650, McRickard Butler’s workforce knew how to build a bridge. Using construction materials consisting of a combination of rubble and dressed limestone, and with their skilled hands they chiselled large lumps of limestone rock creating triangular cut-water pillars to meet the southward flowing water of the river Suir. On top of these same cut-water pillars, they formed seven round arches with dressed voussoirs, (latter wedge-shaped or tapered stones used to construct the arches), visible from both north and south elevations.

Barry’s Bridge Thurles begins to unravel after 4 days.

This limestone road bridge served us well, until around 1820, when it was reconstructed. In more recent years it was widened, its old stone walls replaced by footpaths and steel railings; its road resurfaced by concrete.

Today, 2018, despite major strides in education and communication the knowledge on how to fill a pothole has been lost. On Friday, March 30th last after three weeks of tolerating single lane, “Stop & Go” twenty-minute, traffic management delays, Barry’s bridge was reopened, having been resurfaced.

One hopes no cheques have changed hands, as yesterday, just 4 days later, already this new surface has begun to unravel. Someone in Tipperary Co. Council’s engineering department remains convinced that it is possible to glue tarmac to a sloping road surface and then run heavily laden 12-wheeler trucks over it.

You can only get from people what they are willing or able to give was always the definition of the quote, “You can’t squeeze blood from a turnip.”  But it appears that when it comes to the ratepayers and taxpayers of Thurles Town; yes, we turnips do actually produce blood and can be continuously squeezed.

Meanwhile, here in Ireland, there are still several streets in existence with no pot holes. These streets are now some 60 years old. Back then they used a miracle product for such surfaces. It was considered environmentally friendly; could be recycled, and contained no expensive petroleum. The miracle product was called cement.

Here in Thurles again today, the Council truck did its daily sweep of the town, filling an occasional water laden hole with cold tarmac, which will be reduced to gravel within 48 hours.

There is still no confirmation on the promised Thurles Bypass, initially pledged some 16 year ago.

There were just 6 votes separating Mary Newman and Garrett Ahearn at the recent Fine Gael selection convention here in Thurles, and it’s now thought that the Cashel woman may be added to the ticket for the next general election in October. One wonders will “The Bypass” arrive before then.


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