The longest bridge in Ireland, the 540m completion section of the €40m Mullingar orbital road, is to be called the Joe Dolan Memorial Bridge, it was revealed at this week’s council meeting.
“This was discussed with the family and they’re very happy their brother Joe could be remembered like this,” cathaoirleach Mick Dollard told the meeting.
The final part of the C-Link road - which was begun nearly 13 years ago - extends from Clonmore Business Park to the Lynn Road roundabout and will be officially opened by Minister of Transport, Noel Dempsey TD, on September 6 at 12.30pm.
This 780m stretch of road consists of a two-lane carriageway and with the raised section of 540m over marshy ground, including over the Brosna and Lacy’s canal, the council believes this to be the longest bridge in Ireland.
By comparison, the recently built cable stay bridge over the Boyne on the M1 motorway is just 370m long, but has the single biggest span in the country at 170m. Work on the site began in March 2009 and of the €40m cost of the closing link, the bridge itself cost €12m.
The bridge crosses the flood plain of the river Brosna as well as Lacy’s canal. There will be 3.1m (10ft ) of clearance over the canal to allow for boat passage. The ground conditions, which consist of 10m of peat over 20m of very soft silt, mean that constructing the bridge was a “considerable engineering challenge”, according to county manager, Danny McLoughlin.
Naas firm, Messrs Jons Civil Engineering Co Ltd, were responsible for the final design and construction, and this last stretch included piling, abutment work, approach embankments, and all the required tie-ins with the old N52 at the southern end and the C-Link at the northern end.