26/08/2009

Iarnród Éireann 'Aware Of Bridge Erosion'

Following last Friday's railway causeway collapse in Malahide, which may cost as much as €5m and at least three months to repair, the BBC has reported today that a warning was given about subsidence.

A scout leader who is regularly around and below the rail section in question warned about erosion several days before part of it collapsed.

Ivan Barratt takes scouts canoeing two to three times a week around the Broadmeadow Estuary Rail viaduct and said he had noticed serious erosion on the structure on 14 August and phoned to warn Iarnród Éireann - but the company said an inspection found the damage was cosmetic, rather than structural.

"I think if it was a case of getting into a boat of some sort and going out to inspect the arch itself - and it would need to have been when the tide was at the correct height - then it would have been quite evident that there was a problem," he said.

"For somebody without any engineering qualifications it was evident there was a problem, (so) I'm quite sure a qualified engineer inspecting should have recognised straight off," he said, noting that swift action could have prevented the collapse.

Gardaí have also today issued advice to commuters that due to the collapse the viaduct, Irish Rail has put alternative travel arrangements in place details of which are available at www.irishrail.ie.

Where possible commuters are advised to use the public transport being provided.

A Contingency Traffic Management Group comprising of representatives from Fingal County Council, Dublin City Council, Irish Rail, Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, National Roads Authority (NRA) and An Garda Síochána has also been established to coordinate a traffic management contingency plan to cover the period of disruption.

Commuters forced use their cars are being asked by Gardaí to familiarise themselves with parking restrictions and tariffs in Dublin City Centre. Details can be obtained from Dublin City Council website www.dublincity.ie

(DW/BMcc)

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