The bridge to nowhere in Castlerock
Members of Causeway Coast & Glens Environmental Services Committee will be updated next week on the status of the proposed repairs to the Victorian footbridge at Castlerock railway station.
The bridge, made by Walter Macfarlane & Co, the Saracen Foundry, Glasgow, connected the two platforms. However, work on the Belfast/Londonderry route by Translink in 2014, rendered the second platform redundant, making it effectively a bridge to nowhere.
Causeway Coast and Glens Council is responsible for the upkeep of the footbridge after the former Coleraine Council entered into a 10,000 year lease with NI Transport Holding Company in 1996.
Council papers for Tuesday’s meeting note: “In 2017 Council approved the contract for the removal and assessment of the bridge with a view to ascertaining can it be restored and at what cost.
‘In the 2018 NIEA (Northern Ireland Environment Agency) had their consultant assess and confirm that the bridge was capable of being restored and put back in place.
‘Since then the NIEA consultant has worked with Council and our structural engineer to develop a programme of repairs which satisfy both NIEA and Translink.’
The paper goes on to state that a year of work has been lost on the project due to the Covid pandemic.
It said: ‘Consultants furloughed staff and site visits were not possible. However, a repair strategy has now been developed and a report has been sent to Translink for their input and approval.
‘As the bridge is going over a live railway line, Council cannot proceed until Translink are satisfied with the assessment and repair details. NIEA will also need to approve the proposed work.
‘Tendering, repair and reinstallation should take approximately four to five months from when we get approval from both Translink and NIEA.’
The recommendation is that members of the Environmental Services Committee note the information.