The cost of repairing the pedestrian footbridge over the River Moy in Ballina - which has been closed since last July due to safety concerns - is going to come it at around €100,000, which initially, at least will probably have to be borne by Mayo County Council - the elected members of the Ballina Municipal District were told this week.
The bridge was first opened to the public in 2009 after it was completed at a cost of €1.4 million. It overlooks the famous salmon weir fishing ground and links the town of Ballina to Ardnaree on the other side of the Moy.
The Cathaoirleach of the Municipal District, Cllr Seamus Weir, asked for an update on the bridge at the February meeting which took place on Tuesday.
He was informed by Declan Turnbull, manager of the Ballina Municipal District, that the works that had to be carried out had been identified and he hoped they would be done at some stage in May.
Mr Turnbull told the meeting that: "After a lot of discussion and investigation which took a lot of time, because we had to send parts to the UK for analysis - we have now agreed the work that has to take place.
"That work will take a bit of time because we have to source and buy in the materials needed, they will be coming in from the UK. These are specialised parts, they are not off the shelf, as such.
"When that material comes in, we will be able to go and do the work on the bridge; that will depend on two things - one is Covid regulations at the time and also, water levels. Because if the river is too high, it will cause problems getting the work done, because we will have to put barges, amongst other things, into the river.
"My best estimate is the work will be done and complete by May. I'm not saying the first of May, but some time during May is our best estimate - if it can be done a little bit quicker, great, but if it takes a little bit longer, so be it.
"We have agreed the work that needs to happen and set in train what needs to be done to get it up and running. We are hoping to have the bridge open in May; as things progress I will update you."
Cllr Weir then asked what was the cost involved in the repair and who would be paying it. Mr Turnbull replied, saying: "I don't have the exact final cost, probably in the region of €100,000, it could even be a little bit more, I don't have a final cost.
"In the first instance, the council will have to pay for it as it is our priority to get the bridge open - we are looking at what guarantees were in place, what insurances were in place, we are looking at the original contract to see exactly whose liability it is - but that is a very technical and legal issue, that I don't have an answer on at this time.
"Our priority was to work on getting the bridge open and the work that has to happen; obviously we are concerned about the cost, we hopefully won't have to bear that cost - but I can't comment on that at this time."