Minister Naughton Opens The New N26 Cloongullane Bridge
Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton TD has today (13th October) officially opened the Realignment of the N26 at Cloongullane Bridge Project. Minister Naughton and Cllr Seamus Weir, Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, unveiled a plaque to commemorate the opening and cut a ribbon on the bridge to mark this historic occasion. The bridge was blessed by Reverend Canon Andrea Wills, Fr Dermot Meehan and Very Reverend Padraic Costello.
The N26 is a vitally important connection between North Mayo and the rest of the country. It is of particular importance to the economic, tourism and regional development of North Mayo. The new bridge, and the 2km of road realignment, aims to improve connectivity, journey time reliability and safety along this important corridor, while protecting the pristine environment along the River Moy Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
The 83m span steel composite bridge, crossing the environmentally sensitive River Moy SAC, is the largest single-span bridge in Mayo and one of the largest of its kind in Ireland. The old bridge that the new bridge replaces is approximately 200 years old.
Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton TD said: “I am very pleased to be here in Mayo today to officially open the new Cloongullane Bridge. This project is vital to the families, communities and businesses of North Mayo and I am confident it will provide for safer travel for all road users in the many years ahead. Commercial vehicles in particular will benefit from the extended width and alignment as they travel on this new bridge at what was a particularly bad section on the N26. Getting the scheme through the various stages from design to planning, construction and completion took a lot of work and it is very positive to see the project come to fruition. I want to congratulate everyone involved in bringing this critical project from concept to delivery. The N26 Cloongullane Bridge is the result of strong partnerships which have developed over many years between the local community, local public representatives past and present. I am lucky enough to say that this is not my first official road opening as Minister here in the beautiful county of Mayo. I can tell you with confidence that we will continue to invest in the region, we will continue to work with Mayo County Council and we will continue to engage with communities so as to deliver much needed projects just like the Cloongullane Bridge project in the months and years ahead.
Cllr Seamus Weir, Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council welcomed the opportunity to join with the Minister at the opening of the scheme: “I am delighted to join with the Minister in opening the Cloongullane Bridge scheme here today. The bridge is a magnificent feat of engineering. This project will make a significant difference to the wider community and all road users of the N26, which services a wide catchment area. I would like to acknowledge all those involved in bringing this project to its completion, particularly the landowners and property owners.’’
Minister Naughton also launched a publication “Cloongullane Bridge: Past and Present”. The publication looks at the history of the old bridge and marks the opening of the new bridge on this very historic day for the area.
A selection of photos from the day can be found at this link