The Department for Infrastructure is being pressed to progress as quickly as possible the completion of repair works in Claudy following flood damage.
East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has called on the department to provide a firm indication of when things may return to normality in the area following the August devastation.
Mr Campbell said: “I have written to the Permanent Secretary at the Department For Infrastructure asking for assurances that building on the work to repair the Ballynameen Bridge in Claudy damaged by floods will commence as quickly as possible after the completion of the tender process on the 5th February.
“It is essential that effective controls will be in place to ensure that there will be no slippage in the timetable for completion of this essential infrastructure project.
“I have requested that given the circumstances in the local area it is imperative that the community in Claudy are informed of an approximate date for when the works in total will be completed to allow the normal vehicular access to resume.”
The DUP representative has also asked for the provision of street lighting on the new re-structured bridge as it provides access for a number of local businesses on Learmount Road which is an integral part of the village business community.
The department told a special meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council in December that repairs to the Ballynameen Bridge, which was destroyed by the River Faughan during the floods, are unlikely to be complete until the summer with the cost of fixing it and rendering Church Street in the village fully passable once again around £700,000.
Responding to Mr Campbell’s comments, a Dfi spokesperson said: “A temporary pedestrian bridge is now in place to help to alleviate some of the inconvenience being caused by the road closure at Ballynameen Bridge at Claudy and water and telecommunication equipment has been diverted onto the temporary structure.
“The tender process is ongoing with a view to having a contractor appointed and on site towards the end of this financial year (March). Given the extent and nature of the damage to the structure it is expected to take around five months to complete the repair work.”
The department added the bridge does not meet current criteria for street lighting, however, the opportunity will be taken to install ducting to allow future provision should circumstances change.