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Friday, 15th September 2023

Meeting to discuss rising anger over impact of Obelisk bridge closure

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Closure of the Obelisk Bridge has caused major traffic disruption in the area.

Further Public Meeting arranged for Monday next, September 18th at d Hotel

The campaign to tackle the manner in which local motorists and visitors alike have been treated with the closure of the historic Boyne Obelisk Bridge continues with another public meeting in the d Hotel, Drogheda at 8pm on Monday next, September 18th.  

The meeting, which will be chaired by former Mayor of Drogheda Frank Godfrey, will hear the concerns of motorists now that the closure of the historic Boyne Obelisk Bridge has commenced and will remain so until late 2024.

“The later start time for this second public meeting recognises that in the Greater Drogheda area there are thousands who are condemned to long and costly journeys to secure work or attend college” Frank said.

“The closure of the Obelisk Bridge adds further inconvenience and cost for those affected - and they are being treated appallingly by Louth and Meath County Councils along with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), the toll operators Celtic Roads Group and Minister Eamon Ryan.”

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At the first public meeting on August 28th last, attendees heard of the severe impact the closure was already having on various motorists, including a minibus driver who now has to pay an extra €76 weekly for a mere 500 metre journey across the Mary McAleese Bridge and a farmer with lands on both sides of the Obelisk Bridge who can no longer use the bridge (or the M1) to move machinery and has to travel through central Drogheda.

Now that schools and colleges have resumed, Monday’s meeting will afford parents and others involved in school runs to share their difficulties given what Frank claims is a complete absence of proper planning, communication and consideration for motorists who rely on the Obelisk Bridge daily.

 “Louth Co. Council CEO, Joan Martin and her opposite number in Navan won’t be affected by this. Neither will Eamon Ryan; Leo Varadkar or Micheal Martin – none of whom would allow this massive disruption in their own constituencies,” said Frank.

 “In the immediate Louth and Meath area, we have two Government Ministers; several TDs and Senators and between Drogheda and East Meath, 17 councillors – all of whom affected motorists should be lobbying.

“Up to now, there have been token gatherings of those 17 councillors. Now is the time for action. At their October meetings, both groups should be demanding a meeting with TII and Celtic Roads Group to secure a proper plan for beleaguered motorists.

“Right now, the closure of the Obelisk Bridge is a bonanza for the toll operator, Celtic Roads Group. There are several ways to alleviate the hardship for affected motorists – for example extending the contract could result in a “toll holiday” said Frank. “Another idea proposed is that the Defence Forces build a temporary bailey bridge adjacent to the bridge under repair.”

“I want to hear the concerns of all affected – and their ideas to alleviate those, so I am calling for a full attendance on Monday evening next,” he concluded.   

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