Contracts the construction of Cockhill Bridge have been signed with work due to start within weeks.
The overall €3M project will see the construction of the new bridge on the outskirts of Buncrana as well as new approach roads to the crossing.
Wills Brothers Civil Engineering Contractors have been awarded the contract for the construction of the bridge after a tendering process.
Speaking at Tuesday’s meeting of the Inishowen Municipal District in Carndonagh, Donegal County Council Senior Executive Engineer Mr Seamus Hopkins said a seven-month contract had been awarded to the contractor. Welcoming the announcement, Councillor Bernard McGuinness said: “This is a tremendous announcement for Inishowen and for Donegal. It’s absolutely fantastic.
“I would have to compliment Mr John McLaughlin and Seamus Hopkins for bringing it about so fast and so good.
“There was a lot of controversy about it, but the council stuck to its task.”
Minister of State Joe McHugh TD also welcomed the announcement. “It’s no secret at this stage that the issue of a new bridge at Cockhill has been raised for decades and I am delighted as TD for Donegal and as a Government Minister that we were able to deliver it,” he said.
“The construction of the bridge and completion of approach roads will be in place by early 2018. This is great news for Inishowen today.”
Cllr John Ryan, chair of the Roads SPC on Donegal County Council, said hard work had paid off.
“The bridge will be completed within seven months with the other works on approach roads being delivered in the following four or five months,” said Colr Ryan.
“I remember being on a delegation to meet then Minister Pascal O Donoghue in Dublin in 2015 and I said afterwards that we felt confident that this Fine Gael Government would deliver for Cockhill and it has after the failure of successive Fianna Fail governments to deliver.
“There has been an incredible turnaround on this project, from cutting the sod last May, to construction in the next few weeks so that by this time next year we will be driving over a safe, modern bridge at Cockhill.”