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Rob Power

Small Kildare village 'isolated' after collision damage to access bridge

A tractor struck the bridge recently causing the damage and because it is a protected structure it could be months before it is repaired.

RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES in a small Kildare village face a challenging few months after a collision caused substantial damage to an old bridge, cutting off direct access to the village.

The bridge just outside Caragh village is the oldest over the River Liffey and was damaged when a tractor struck the parapet. It left a long section of the bride unguarded from the drop to the river below.

Council engineers assessed the damage on Saturday evening and established a detour route but it will add at least 10 kilometres to the daily commute of residents and business owners and it is unclear when this will be remedied.

Local councillor Rob Power said the incident has essentially left the village “isolated”.

The bridge has been in place since 1656 and Power said “ironically, it’s the preserved status the bridge enjoys which has now added complications to the repair works”.

“This bridge is a preserved structure – a national monument – and as such, Kildare County Council cannot touch it until engineers are given Departmental approval”, he added.

I’ve been told that such are the nature of the works required that the bridge could even be closed to traffic for a period of months. This will have a serious impact on both people travelling from and through the village and on residents living along the detour route who will see heightened traffic on what is already an extremely busy rural route.

He is calling for financing and resources to be made available to works can be completed in as short a time as possible.

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