Ardfinnan Bridge funding allocated

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Government funding has been granted to prepare an options assessment for the Ardfinnan Bridge where a controversial temporary traffic light system has been in place for seven years.
A total of €220,000 has been allocated to the Ardfinnan Bridge project under Active Travel Investment grants provided by the government.
€6,600,000 has been allocated to County Tipperary under the Active Travel Grant.
Ardfinnan’s funding will launch the preparation of a plan to deal with the controversial traffic management measures that were introduced on the bridge seven years ago.
A one-way traffic management system with temporary traffic lights was introduced after the bridge was damaged by flooding.
The funding was to help design plans for a new pedestrian bridge that would lead to the return of a two-way traffic system without lights.
Ardfinnan’s bridge allocation allowed for €70,000 to be spent on an options assessment report and €150,000 on permanent traffic lights to replace the temporary lights.
This week, Tipperary TD Martin Browne asked why €150,000 of that funding had been allocated for permanent traffic lights to replace the temporary lights in place.
Senator Garret Ahearn said there was a clear understanding that a pedestrian bridge would be provided and a two-way traffic system would return.
“This process will take several years. The €70,000 for options valuation will start all of this, but it will take time. In the meantime, the temporary lights will be replaced with permanent lights that will operate for the number of years necessary for the two-way traffic system on the bridge to be restored,” he said.
Senator Ahearn said the community clearly wanted the two-way system back and that’s what everyone was working towards.
“The funding from Ardfinnan is to be welcomed, as is the funding under this scheme for Fethard City Park (€150,000) and footpath works in Clonmel (€280,000),” he added. .
Deputy Browne asked for clarification regarding the allocation.
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“I welcome the investments in the Ardfinnan Bridge. But we need clarity on the allocation of the significant sum of €150,000 to make the key features of the current arrangement permanent,” he said.
“And we need certainty that the popular option will be carried out, and that if works costing €150,000 have to be canceled at some point in the future in favor of the option that the public has been asking for , that such action will be taken,” he said.

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