Scope of work on Dunancory Bridge revised

Progress on work on Dunancory Bridge in Virginia has been slightly delayed, but the opening day for use by cyclist and pedestrian has been identified. Cavan County Council say the current restoration of Dunancory Bridge is the first large-scale maintenance investment in the bridge’s 150-year history.

The local authority say the work is “urgently required, as the bridge was failing” and as such this vital work must be undertaken with “extreme sensitivity and caution”.

In a statement Cavan County Council gave a full overview of the reason the works have to take place: “The central portion of the existing spandrel wall on the upstream side of the bridge between the two arches had been previously obscured by a large embankment, and the wall appeared to have failed in the past. The embankment was acting to retain the road base at this point.

“However, owing to uncharted ground conditions and heavy rainfall at the time of excavation it was not considered safe to excavate around the embankment or abutments of the bridge without undermining its stability and retention of the existing road. Allowing the road to remain open during this portion of the works posed a risk to road users and the contractors’ employees - hence the need for a road closure.

“It was necessary for the contractor to exercise extreme caution on the intrusive excavation works required to install the foundations required for the new widening section of the bridge. Excavation works around the existing structure highlighted the instability of the spandrel wall - with a portion of the existing spandrel wall collapsing.

“This structural instability meant that the scope of works had to be revised in order to carry out the works safely.

“This scheme will improve this critical piece of road infrastructure; by means of remediating structural defects and addressing volume and load-carrying capacities; to provide road users with a safe and efficient road crossing, while simultaneously reducing maintenance costs,” the local authority's statement said.

Cavan County Council is working with all parties to expedite the works and ensure timely progression of this project, which will provide a high-quality structure that is reliable, safe, and a long-term asset to the county.