Cllr. Frank Godfrey at the Obelisk Bridge which is badly in need of repair. Photo: Andy Spearman.
The old obelisk bridge, sometimes called Silver Bridge because of the colour it was painted many decades ago, crosses the River Boyne at the same point as King William of Orange crossed ni 1690 during the Battle of the Boyne.
Unfortunately it has long since fallen into disrepair and, because the bridge links counties Louth and Meath, it has fallen between the two camps.
Built in 1869 by local firm, Grendon Engineering, the bridge is substantial, but today it is falling into ruin. The capping is falling into the river, the metalwork is rusting and broken in parts and it hasn’t be painted in years.
“It needs a major overhaul’ said Cllr Frank Godfrey, who raised the matter at last night’s May meeting of Louth County Council Borough District of Drogheda.
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Cllr Godfrey asked if the bridge is structurally sound, and asked if Louth County Council would carry out an up-to-date report on it. ‘We need to put aside funding now to carry out urgent works on this historic bridge” he said.
He was told that consulting Engineers, acting for Louth County Council carried out a structural assessment of the Obelisk Bridge in 2015 and their report noted that the bridge is a protected structure, and replacing it is not an option unless it is assessed to be unsafe which is not the case.
The report also identified varying degrees of deterioration on different elements of the Bridge. It was therefore recommended that a rehabilitation strategy be created with an aim to extend the service life of the bridge.
The costs were in the order of €570,000 to €770,000 (January 2016 figures). As the bridge links counties Louth and Meath, remediation works on it is a matter for both counties. Accordingly progression of these remedial works awaits agreement and availability of funding.
The iron work of the Obelisk Bridge is rusted and has broken in many places.
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