September date for bridge re-opening

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The Ballynameen Bridge in Claudy is to re-open by the end of September, the Roads Service has confirmed.

The closure of the bridge, which was washed away during last August’s flooding, has caused major traffic problems in the village ever since.

Initially, the rebuilding work was to have been completed inside a year, but Derry City and Strabane District Council was told earlier this month that the date had ‘slipped’ to September.

DFI Roads Western Division senior engineer Robin Cutty, in a letter to the council, confirmed that the expected completion date for the work was now September 28.

“The delivery of the Ballynameen Bridge scheme involved satisfying the requirements of a number of statutory authorities and agencies,” he wrote.

He added: “Unfortunately securing the statutory approval of all the external agencies took approximately eight weeks to gain.

“These processes were outside the control of DFI Roads and, despite our best endeavours, has resulted in the contract period being delayed by the same period.

“The Department would like to take this opportunity to apologise for any inconvenience caused by the increase in time for completion and will be working with the contractor to ensure that every effort possible is made to re-open the road to traffic in advance of this date.”

George Robinson MLA said he was encouraged to see that progress has been made.

“All being well the good weather we experienced in May and continue to experience will allow work to progress unhindered, so that there is no slippage in the timetable for completion of construction works, and hopefully residents may even see the road re-opened in advance of that date,” Mr Robinson said.