22 July 2005

Monster bridge is halfway there

Irish Examiner

By Sean O’Riordan
22 July 2005

WHEN finished it will weigh an astonishing 29,000 tonnes and at 450 metres will be the longest bridge of its type ever built in Ireland.

Work is well underway on the crossing, left, of the Blackwater Valley as part of the €200 million construction of the Fermoy bypass, in north Cork.

Austrian company Straubag is nearly halfway through building the monster bridge which will be 8.1 metres above the river.

Sections of concrete are being cast on the southern side of the river.

“They are jacked up bit-by-bit and then launched across. There are two separate bridges. Each will be dual carriageway with an emergency lane,” said Christopher James, who is general manager of the main contractors, Direct Route.

The bridge, which will cost over €20 million, is by far the largest of 18 which are being built along the 17.5km road.

It will join the Watergrasshill bypass in the south with the existing N8, two miles north of Fermoy near Moorepark.

“In total the bridge will weigh approximately 29,000 tonnes and will have steel reinforcements of 2,000 tonnes,” Mr James said.

The contract signed between the National Roads Authority and Direct route is for the whole bypass to be completed by the summer of 2007.

However, Mr James said yesterday it was possible this date will be brought forward.

It will be the first toll road in Co Cork.

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