Claudy bridge repair to begin in six weeks

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd August 2017 

The scene in Claudy after after overnight weather caused major disruption.

Several people were forced to leave their homes after serious flooding in Londonderry and the north west on Tuesday night.
The fire service said they responded to about 60 incidents, with a number of people trapped in their cars due to high flood water.
At one point, three Coastguard helicopters were brought in - from Scotland, Wales and Sligo.

Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd August 2017 The scene in Claudy after after overnight weather caused major disruption. Several people were forced to leave their homes after serious flooding in Londonderry and the north west on Tuesday night. The fire service said they responded to about 60 incidents, with a number of people trapped in their cars due to high flood water. At one point, three Coastguard helicopters were brought in - from Scotland, Wales and Sligo. Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye.

Work on the reconstruction of the Claudy Bridge is to begin within the next few weeks.

With the disruption to traffic and businesses in the area, work on the bridge on church street in the village is being treated as a priority by the Department for Infrastructure.

A spokesman said: “Given the disruption associated with the Ballynameen Bridge, Claudy, repair of this bridge is being prioritised.

“Following engineering assessment and design work, the repairs will begin in the next few weeks.

“The work is expected to take around six months to complete.

“Given the need to keep the site accessible for repair work, it is not possible to install a temporary vehicular bridge.

“However, a temporary pedestrian bridge will be put in place to help to alleviate some of the inconvenience being caused by the road closure. A five-mile diversion route via Learmount Road/Longland Road is currently in place, which takes around eight minutes.”

According to the Department, 80% of closed roads have now reopened and 750 metres of flood defences have been repaired.

“The vast scale of the area affected is still requiring site assessments and repairs to be carefully prioritised, with priority being given to the busier routes and bridges, alongside other ongoing essential road maintenance work.

“Additional funding amounting to almost £9million has been allocated for the repair of the flood damage to roads and bridges.

“More than 200 roads were closed or impacted as a result of flooding. All A and B routes have been reopened with the exception of the B49 Church Street, Claudy where the bridge has partially collapsed; only a small number (13) of roads remain closed.

“All works have been prioritised and work will continue to reopen the remaining roads as soon as possible.

“Road users are reminded to adhere to road signs and any temporary traffic management systems in place.

The Department says that almost 600 bridges were affected by the flooding.

“Inspection of these has been a massive undertaking for the Department, but around half of this work has now been completed,” the spokesman said.

“While 70 bridges have been identified at this stage as being in need of repair, work at most of the bridges is not significant. This work will continue over the coming weeks and months to ensure the integrity of the bridges are maintained and public safety is not compromised.

Repair work is also continuing on the damaged flood defence infrastructure and watercourses in many areas.

Of the 1,800 metres of flood defences damaged almost 50% has now been repaired.

Work has been undertaken at the Burndennett River and at the River Roe, and is continuing in numerous locations across the North West including the Faughan and Muff Rivers.

Replacement water level monitoring equipment on the River Faughan, washed away due to the very high flows in this watercourse, will also be installed within the next month.

DfI staff continue to work with other Departments and partner organisations as the recovery continues, including participation in DAERA clinics to support and advise the rural community on how to reinstate the damage caused to rural watercourses that are not maintained by the Department.

The Department will continue to work with local communities at known flood risk to build resilience and has in place well established arrangements with other Departments.”