Fianna Fail Senator Fiona O’Loughlin has expressed disappointment after a funding application for a second bridge in Newbridge was rejected because a ‘strong case linking the development to the town centre was not made’ under the Government’s Urban Regeneration & Development Fund.
“According to the project assessment report whilst the town centre environment would benefit from the diversion of traffic along the link road; a strong case linking the development has not been made,” Senator O’Loughlin stated.
The project is located to the south approximately 1km south of Newbridge. The proposed works involve the design, planning and construction of the remaining section of the Newbridge Southern Relief Road, which includes a second bridge crossing over the River Liffey and a 1 kilometre section of road.
Senator O’Loughlin, who is seeking a meeting with the Minister and his Department of Housing officials over their rejection of the plan said that assurance has since been given that reserve funding will be made available this year.
“I have also asked Minister O`Brien for an urgent meeting to discuss the fact no funding was received, and I have had a number of engagements with the Minister to date on this subject. He has assured me that some reserve funding will be available this year and KCC have been invited to engage with Dept Officials about going forward with this vital project. A second bridge would have a tangible and positive impact on the daily lives of people living in Newbridge and this is the whole point of this funding.”
Senator O’Loughlin said a second bridge for Newbridge is vital for the town and needs to be made a priority.
“This would improve traffic flow and town congestion making Newbridge a better place to live and do business in,” Senator O’Loughlin said.
“I have been raising the need for a second bridge for years and in that time, the traffic levels have increased hugely, putting further pressure on our inadequate infrastructure. Kildare commuters have been seriously impacted by the road works on the M7 and the situation in the town of Newbridge itself is deteriorating steadily. I have called on Kildare County Council to make every effort to source funding for the provision of this new bridge.”
There were three Kildare successful projects in the URDF allocation for the county which valued at just over €15 million, and all based in North Kildare. The Celbridge to Hazelhatch link road is the largest project at €10.23m, with Naas town being awarded €3.49m for a renewal masterplan and Maynooth town centre renewal receiving €1.9m.
“I will be seeking a meeting to discuss this matter further,” Senator O’Loughlin concluded.