10% of Derry and Strabane bridges seriously damaged but extra £3.5m obtained for flood repairs

Claudy bridge.
Claudy bridge.

Ten per cent of bridges spanning approved highways and byways in Derry and Strabane were seriously damaged in the August floods but TransportNI has secured an additional £3.5m to help address the problem.

That's according to senior engineer Harry Gallagher, TransportNI's Network Development Engineer for the Western Division, who briefed a special meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council's Environment and Regeneration Committee on the remediation operations this week.

Mr. Gallagher said this funding had assisted in reopening damaged roads, repairing damaged infrastructure and resurfacing roads once drainage systems had been restored.

"Of the 650 bridges in the area affected by the recent floods, 64 have sustained serious flood damage including Ballynameen Bridge in Claudy and Glenrandal Bridge near Park which was completely destroyed.

"A temporary footbridge at Claudy has recently been placed to provide pedestrian access and to carry utility services while the permanent repair is being developed,” he said.

On the issue of the Department’s budget, Mr Gallagher continued: “Despite a challenging budgetary situation, the Department has delivered a significant programme of resurfacing and surface dressing and continues to carry out a programme of routine maintenance, including pothole repairs and street lighting repairs to meet all essential public safety requirements.”

In relation to winter gritting services, Mr Gallagher concluded: “The Department is planning to deliver a normal winter service, as in previous years, with all necessary staff and equipment at the ready to be deployed as and when required.”