Derry was plunged into traffic chaos last night when the imminent collapse of the former Hamilton shirt factory forced the closure of part of Foyle Road.
Foyle Road was closed from the Foyleside roundabout to Craigavon bridge because of the risk posed by the expected collapse of the building.
The move follows what has been described as a significant internal collapse at the building last weekend when three floors collapsed.
Anthony Tohill, strategic director of Derry City Council said public safety had to take precedence over traffic concerns.
The strategic director of Derry City Council Anthony Tohill said public safety in terms of the Hamilton Factory had to take precedence over traffic concerns.
Last night Foyle Road was closed from the Foyleside roundabout to Craigavon Bridge because of the risk posed by the expected collapse of the building.
“The place could stand for three days or three weeks or could come down in three hours,” he said last night.
“We are not prepared to expose the public to that kind of risk.”
The footpath at the John Street side of the building will also be closed while emergency work is carried out.
Motorists travelling to the city centre from the Waterside will be unable to use the lower deck of the Craigavon Bridge while motorists coming from the Letterkenny road direction will have to travel along Lone Moor Road or Bishop Street.
Road closures and diversions will be put in place to ensure the safety of the public. Traffic will not be allowed in the area until further notice.
Roads Service have advised traffic will be diverted, to facilitate Derry City Council’s plans to manage the dangerous condition of this building. Drivers should use Foyle Bridge when possible.
The Foyle Road from the lower deck of the Craigavon Bridge to the John Street Roundabout will be closed to through traffic. Diversions will be necessary around the lower deck of Craigavon Bridge and drivers are urged to comply with traffic signage.
Drivers should proceed with patience and due caution. Considerable delays can be expected, particularly at peak times and motorists are advised to allow extra time for their journeys.
Derry City Council will continue to work with a wide range of public sector organisations, the emergency services and representatives from the business community to assist in managing this situation. The matter will be reviewed on a regular basis and every effort will be made to minimise the disruption resulting from these restrictions.