Fianna Fáil Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee has called on Fingal County Council to rethink its plan to close the main access bridge into Portmarnock.
Fingal County Council is proposing to close the bridge for at least two weeks to facilitate repair works, with many residents and business owners warning that significant disruption will be caused should the closure take place.
Senator Clifford-Lee said, “The council are proposing to close the entire bridge from September 12th to facilitate repair works. This will cause serious disruption as the bridge is essentially the only viable access route into Portmarnock which has a population of 10,000 people.
“Residents will be forced to take a long detour to access their homes and people will be unable to reach local businesses. The closure will also make the Dart station virtually inaccessible for most Portmarnock residents who rely on the station to commute to work. The closure of the bridge will make it difficult for emergency services to access the village. Parents will also face serious disruption in bringing their children to school in the village.
“The repair works will last at least two weeks, but warnings have been made that the refurbishment could take up to four weeks to complete. It is simply unacceptable for the main access road into the village to remain closed for such a long period of time without an adequate alternative route being provided.
“Bridge repair works in other areas have been carried out without having to cause as much disruption to local traffic. For example, it is standard practice to close one lane on a bridge at a time to facilitate works or if this cannot be achieved then a temporary access bridge is put in place.
“The consequences of this disruption will be felt far beyond Portmarnock, especially considering bus services between Swords and the city center will be forced to use a much slower route. Large vehicles will also be forced to take a long detour as the local road diversion being proposed cannot facilitate heavy vehicles.
“I’m calling on Fingal County Council to engage with local residents and businesses to identify an alternative to the proposed schedule of works. The possibility of widening the bridge or installing a temporary bridge should be explored.”