Bridge workers to take ten-day break

A worker at Johnston Bridge puts his feet up and stops work for a moment    RMGFH89

A worker at Johnston Bridge puts his feet up and stops work for a moment RMGFH89

WORK ON JOHNSTON Bridge in Enniskillen is to stop for ten days because the contractor carrying out the essential maintenance is on holiday, the Fermanagh Herald can reveal.

From Friday, workers will down tools and work will cease on ‘strengthening work’ on Johnston Bridge in a move that MP Tom Elliott has branded ‘frustrating’.


The MP said the contract granted by Transport NI ‘wasn’t tight enough’ and added that the contractors should be working longer in the evenings and ‘shouldn’t have had the holiday break’.

Chairman of Enniskillen Business Partnership Jonathan Styles said the department had ‘underestimated’ the project and must be ‘accountable’.

He said: “Are there not people that can work through this? Can they not put a skeleton staff on? Have they not thought about this to get the project finished in a quicker time? Did the department pay a particularly cheap price to get this job done – so that we could be inconvenienced further?”

A Transport NI spokesman confirmed to the Fermanagh Herald that the contractor will be on annual holiday from July 13 -17, and will resume work on July 20.

During the holiday period, the lane is expected to open to two ways of traffic.

Mr Elliott continued: “I have had an issue with the Roads Service and my discussions with them. Their claim is that they got this money quite quickly and didn’t get as much preparation as they’d have liked.

“What my idea was with the good weather and long evenings and if they couldn’t do all the work at night that they should have at least been extending the work to 11pm at night. That would be an extra five hours every day and they shouldn’t have had the holiday break.


“I just think that whatever contract there was it wasn’t tight enough in that respect. I have to say I am frustrated about that and that’s one of the issues that I’ve been very forceful to them about simply because I feel that they could have got it over and done with much more quickly.”

Mr Styles added: “If this was pipe laying away from any business centre that didn’t affect a main route, sure take as much time as you like boys! But this is different, this is priority lifting. Those people that made the decisions to start and stop, they should be accountable.”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA