Tipperary TD Alan Kelly confirms preliminary work on Ballina bridge to commence

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Tipperary TD Alan Kelly confirms preliminary work on Ballina bridge to commence

Deputy Alan Kelly: preliminary work on new Shannon bridge to commence

Preliminary work on the new Shannon crossing at Ballina / Killaloe bridge will commence before the year end and the full contract for the work will go to tender later on this year, according to Tipperary TD Alan Kelly.

The Labour Party leader said that he could confirm the work would go ahead following on from discussions he had last week with officials in the Department of Transport.

"Officials have confirmed to me that the project will not be impacted in any way by any changes in Government and that they are committed to its construction in as timely a fashion as possible," he said.

Deputy Kelly said that the Department confirmed that work on an advance contract to do preparatory work on the route and design was aimed to commence after the summer and be completed by February 2021 and in tandem the full contract for construction will be put out to tender with a three year time frame. The estimated cost of the construction is expected to be in excess of €40m.

The preparatory work to be completed by next February will involve felling of trees, fencing and design works across the 6.2km route of the project. Once this is completed and the tender is awarded, the construction is expected to be carried out as one project rather than three separate ones for the new bridge; the upgrade of the Birdhill to Ballina R494 road and the bypass around Killaloe.

"I'm delighted that this work is finally commencing after I first put this into the National Development Plan in 2015. There were a number of legal and planning issues that held this up so I am delighted that we have reached this stage. It is a project that will transform the area and one I have promoted for over a decade," said Deputy Kelly.