Long-awaited Footbridge in Annalong Is Nearing Its Early Design Stages.
Although it is still unclear as to when the much-anticipated Annalong footbridge will be re-instated, progress on its design and costing are currently being finalised writes Laura Barr.
The pedestrian bridge which serves as a safe walkway for many residents to access the local shop and harbour area was sealed off in July and subsequently removed.
The bridge at Cornmill Quay was closed off due to structural defects including steel erosion and rotten wooden cross members.
At the time, Newry Mourne and Down District Council, Deputy Chairperson, Councillor Harold McKee requested that council officials ask the contractors to construct a temporary bridge within the existing bridge.
This however was not feasible and left many older residents having to access the shops by walking onto the busy main road where major roadworks were being carried out.
Cllr McKee, a UUP representative, told Down News that he welcomed the commencement of the rebuilding of the Cornmill bridge in the village.
“The original bridge has been widely used for years by locals, visitors, fishermen and many shoppers who were greatly disappointed to realise the footbridge was closed due to deterioration.
“We hope there will be an early reinstatement of the bridge to allow for access across the Annalong river.”
Meanwhile Mourne DUP Councillor Glyn Hanna, who also requested an update to the bridge, said he was delighted that the issues with the design have now been resolved.
Cllr Hanna said: “I was informed the design problem was caused by having to allow a sewage pipe and storm water pipe to pass through the under-structure of the bridge.
“This has been sorted and the bridge is being built at the moment.
“There is also some groundwork at the bridge mounting points to be completed.”
Cllr Hanna added: “It will be a welcome day in Annalong when the new bridge is installed.
“So many people use the bridge as a shortcut to get to the local shop and the bridge also serves as a link for the shore-walk.
“I am looking forward to the day the bridge returns, along with many residents.”
A spokesperson from Newry Mourne and Down District Council said: “Aspects of the design and costs for the bridge at Cornmill Quay in Annalong are still being finalised before the final design can be issued for fabrication.
“The installation date will only become known to Newry Mourne and Down District Council after its appointed supplier completes the offsite manufacture for this project.”