Calm before chaos as commuters get Easter break before Lough Atalia closure

Work on the Lough Atalia Bridge Road Lowering Project starts on Monday March 23, but the road will remain open during the following two weeks in order to allow unrestricted access to the city during the Easter weekend.

The road will eventually be closed to traffic for eight weeks from the Fairgreen Road junction, beside the Radisson Hotel, to the back entrance of Ceannt Station, with a view to work being completed by Wednesday May 15.

During that time a traffic management plan will be put in place. This will include a one-way traffic system which will come into effect on Tuesday April 7. It will be implemented inbound on Lough Atalia Road, to Fairgreen Road, and outbound along College Road for around 12 weeks.

The plan will allow eastbound and westbound traffic, as well as local access along Lough Atalia Road, Fairgreen Road and College Road. Right turns at the Moneenageisha Junction from Moneenageisha Road to College Road and from Dublin Road to Wellpark Road will be prohibited for the duration of the works.

Westbound traffic will follow the one way traffic system and divert at Fairgreen Road to Forster Street, Eyre Square, Victoria Place, Queen Street and on to Dock Road before continuing westbound.

Eastbound traffic will follow the signposted diversion routes beginning at Bóthar na Long, on to Dock Road, Dock Street, Merchants Road, Victoria Place, Eyre Square and Prospect Hill. Traffic will then continue eastbound via Prospect Hill to Bohermore or via Bóthar Uí Eithir to the proposed one way traffic system, outbound on College Road.

Access to businesses and premises along Lough Atalia Road and the Galway Harbour Enterprise Park, south of the road closure will be accommodated via Bóthar na Long. Local access will be maintained at all times.

The Galway City Council has appointed Tom Cannon of TOBIN Consulting Engineers as public liaison engineer for the duration of the works. He will be available to answer any queries from the public from 9am to 5pm, Mondays to Fridays, through 086 - 1666653.

Updates on traffic management plans and durations will be available on www.galwaycity.ie and an email list of stakeholders will be compiled to release all information to the public as it becomes available. Those interested in signing up to the mailing list can contact [email protected].

The Lough Atalia Railway Bridge is a low 19th century bridge structure which comprises cast iron arches and is a protected structure. It has been subjected to considerable and repeated damage by high vehicles. According to City Hall, significant damage to the bridge would leave the city centre without one of the four road routes and without its only railway station/terminal.

Due to height restrictions under Lough Atalia Bridge, vehicles over 3.68m high must move towards the centre of the road in order to pass under the bridge. Such tall or taller vehicles can only pass under it by lining up to pass directly under the highest point by using the centre of the road. However it is not unknown for vehicles to strike or get stuck under the bridge. As a result the road under the bridge needs to be lowered by 1.3m. Dedicated pedestrian and cycle facilities will also be introduced.

City Hall believes the works will allow for the safer movement of large vehicles under the bridge; eliminate incidents of high sided vehicles striking the arch rib construction of the under-bridge; make the passageway beneath the bridge a suitable height for modern articulated lorries and other large vehicles; and preserve the protected structure. The work is being carried out by L&M Keating Ltd Building and Civil Engineering Contractors.

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