Plans for new crossing at Saunder's Bridge unveiled

Plans for new crossing at Saunder's Bridge unveiled

The long-awaited pedestrian crossing at Saunders Bridge moved a step closer this week as the council has published details for a new €1m link across the Royal Canal for walkers and cyclists.

The new bridge, which will be located on Mullingar side of Saunders Bridge, will have a span of 40 metres and be three metres wide. The council estimate that construction of the bridge will take 10 months.

The director of services for Mullingar Municipal District, Martin Murray, told the Westmeath Examiner that a start for the project cannot be finalised until planning is granted and funding is secured.

“A lot of work has already been done liaising with different statutory bodies, such as Iarnród Éireann who have given permission to build a structure across their rail line.”

The plans can be viewed online at www.westmeathcoco.ie, or can be inspected at the Westmeath County Council offices in Mullingar.

The publication of the plans have been welcomed by Colin Watters of the Saunders Bridge Action Group, one of the main organisers behind a campaign to get the council to bring forward its plans for a pedestrian bridge. Mr Waters established the Saunders Bridge Action Group last November after he and his wife said that they were almost struck by a motorist when they were crossing the bridge with their youngest child.

“I’m delighted that it’s been speeded up by two years. The only downside that I see is that there is no pedestrian crossing on the Ballinderry road. You have seven estates on the opposite side of the road. I know there is a pedestrian crossing around the corner at Buckley’s but another crossing is need closer to the bridge.

“I’ve only come across one person online that said that the new bridge would ruin the architecture of the old bridge but if they want to look at the historic architecture they can go around the other side.

“Personally I think that kids’ safety is far more important,” he said.

The news has also been welcomed by the Ardmore Residents group, who, along with members of the Saunders Bridge Action Group, met council officials late last year to discuss their concerns.

Members of the public have until June 26 to make written submissions or observations on the proposed plans for the pedestrian bridge. The submissions can be sent by email to pkeating@westmeathcoco.ie or by post to SEO, Mullingar Municipal District Office, Westmeath County Council, Áras an Chontae, Mullingar.

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