Monday, October 19, 2009

Opening of new cable-stayed bridge and bypass great news for Waterford

I attended the official opening of the new cable-stayed bridge and bypass for Waterford today. The bridge itself is every bit as impressive as the one over the Boyne at Drogheda. The overall N25 project involves a Bypass extending from west of Kilmeaden to east of Slieverue in Co. Kilkenny. The route, comprising approximately 25 kms of motorway, crosses the River Suir at Grannagh, close to the location of the existing N24/N9 junction to the north west of Waterford City, providing Waterford with its second bridge over the Suir and allowing traffic on the N25 Cork/Rosslare route to bypass the city. The next phase of the project to open will be the section from Grannagh to Kilkenny.

This is undoubtedly great news for Waterford. Many people at many levels were involved in nurturing this project from conception to completion. The idea and demand for a new bridge pre-dates most of the politicians and civic leaders in attendance at today’s ceremony and is a long time in the waiting. It will greatly help traffic flow in the city itself by diverting thousands of cars and trucks on a daily basis. When opened in its entirety the new bypass will make Waterford and the Southeast more competitive as it shortens the drive time to key cities such as Cork and Dublin.

The only sting in the tale is the tolling of the bridge. The new bypass will be tolled also. I am not a fan of PPP’s or tolling as they cost more in the long run and line the pockets of privateers. Examples of this can be seen all over the country most notably the M50. The new Suir Bridge is now locked into a 25 year tolling charge mechanism. This is regrettable but outside the control of most local politicians. However the infrastructure itself is of the highest standard architecturally and looks fantastic. The opening of the bridge is very welcome and is a great day for the city.


  1. Can Blue Badge holders travel this bridge free of charge?

  2. No, charging for something is the only area in this country where is equality..