The National Spatial Strategy confirms Sligo’s status as the premier economic gateway of the northwest region. The Sligo Local Authorities are working with the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, the Department of Transport and the National Roads Authority to develop a transport infrastructure to underpin our continuing growth and development. The newly opened Sligo Inner Relief Road has resulted in major benefits to motorists, and will also facilitate the pedestrianisation of city centre streets. Proposals for a Western Distributor Road, a Western by-pass and Eastern link are identified in the Sligo & Environs Development Plan, and the delivery of these projects will further enhance our position as a dynamic and progressive urban centre.
The proposed Eastern Garvoge River Bridge will provide an eastern relief road which will further reduce traffic congestion in the city centre. It provides a new high-quality, single-carriageway Urban Distributor Road link on the Eastern side of Sligo City. It will provide for the ongoing commercial, residential, recreational and social development of communities in the East of the City, on both the North and South sides of the Garvoge River, and will establish a vital link with Sligo General Hospital and the city’s educational hub at the Institute of Technology in Ballinode.
The proposed bridge will span over the Garvoge River at the narrowest crossing point of the river before it widens out to the east at Lough Gill. The proposed crossing represents the most easterly link between north and south of Sligo city and the hinterland beyond, thus providing the prospect of an important symbolic gateway to mark this threshold and calling for a bridge of appropriate scale and status. The proposed bridge will be set against the backdrop of a highly scenic view eastwards across Lough Gill to the Keelogyboy Mountains. The location and setting of the proposed bridge allows for the opportunity for the provision of a landmark structure.
The design includes clearance of at least 5m wide along each bank for the provision of riverside promenades, including cycle tracks. Sligo Borough Council has an objective to develop a promenade along the northern bank of the river, which will pass underneath the proposed bridge. The proposed bridge will provide a connection between the promenades on both sides of the river.
High quality of landscaping of the area surrounding the bridge will integrate the crossing point successfully with the adjacent residential area of Garvoge Villas, Martin Savage Terrace and Doorly Park.
The superstructure of the proposed bridge comprises a bold single span steel arch aligned along the centre of the bridge and rising to a height of 30 metres. The arch supports a small number of hangers that connect to the bridge deck beneath. The overall span of the bridge from face of abutment to face of abutment is approximately 63 metres. There will be a single lane carriageway on each side of the arch for vehicular traffic, pedestrians and cyclists.
The choice of the most appropriate bridge form was based on aesthetic criteria in order to provide a structural form that best suits the special visual qualities of this sensitive site.
The proposed bridge is considered a suitable form for the proposed development for the following reasons:
According to Senior Engineer Tom Brennan ‘The bridge will connect communities north and south of the river and provide access to the regional hospital and the proposed new private hospital. It will improve traffic circulation on the Eastern side of the river of the City while opening up a large area for potential development. This project will also facilitate the regeneration of the Cranmore/Cleveragh areas.’
Sligo Borough Council has submitted an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to an Bord Pleanala. The EIS can be inspected from Monday 10th December 2007 to Wednesday 6th February 2008 inclusive at its offices at City Hall, Quay Street, Sligo. Submissions and observations on the scheme may be made to An Bord Pleanala up to that date.
A copy of the EIS is available for a fee of €25. A CD of the EIS can be purchased for €10, and a non-technical summary of the report is available for a fee of €5.
A copy of the Environmental Impact Statement may be downloaded here: -
Garvoge Environmental Impact Statement - 6,982 kbs
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