WATCH: Ireland’s longest bridge linking Kilkenny to Wexford to open before end of year
The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge linking South Kilkenny to Wexford is likely to open before the year is out.
Kilkenny County Council (Piltown) Area Engineer Stan Cullen told councillors at the latest Piltown Municipal district meeting, he expects the bridge to be open to traffic before the end of 2019.
Speaking at the meeting in Belview Port, Mr Cullen said: “As far as I’m aware and from what I’ve been told, they are working towards an opening in 2019. That’s still their intention anyway.”
Recently the company constructing the bridge, BAM, has been demolishing the concrete support beams. These beams were taking the weight of the massive sections of road until the correct tension was achieved on the suspension cables. Once these supports are removed, the bridge will be free-standing.
The news the bridge will open soon will come as a massive relief to people around Glenmore who have had to deal with massive traffic disruptions for over two years.
The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge is part of the 15km long New Ross bypass scheme will improve journey times along the N25 linking Rosslare to Limerick, and will ease traffic congestion in New Ross and South Kilkenny.
The bridge, connecting Pink Point, Glenmore in Kilkenny to Stokestown in Wexford, will be the longest “extrados” type bridge in the world, and the longest bridge in Ireland. An extrados bridge uses a combination of cable-stay and pier supports to hold its two central spurs. At 230 metres, these are the longest post-tensioned concrete spans in the world.
The bridge’s 887-metre span makes it about twice as long as the River Suir Bridge that connects Grannagh in Kilkenny to Gracedieu in Waterford, and some 30 metres longer than the Foyle Bridge in Derry.