‘Vital’ bridge over Erne may never be restored

A LOCAL bridge used that was blown up by the British Army during the Troubles still hasn’t been properly fixed, and may never be if funding isn’t found, despite being used by hundreds of motorists every week. 
The Roscor Bridge Road in Belleek currently can’t support heavy loads and is in poor condition overall. The bridge has been singled out by the Department of Infrastructure for strengthening, however they have said a study will be needed to see if this can be done economically first. 
Local councillor John Coyle said he had been campaigning to have the bridge fixed for years, and would continue to do so. 
“It’s a vital link across the River Erne,” said Cllr Coyle. “It was bombed and the army put on the steel structure, but that’s not the weak part of the bridge, it’s the concrete part itself. The underside is supposedly in very bad disrepair. There was no funding to get the bridge fixed at the time and a temporary fix was done then. 
“We know it will take a lot of money now, but it is a lifeline for a lot of people in the area who come down the Boa Island and go across the Roscor Bridge Road, and go to the Lough Shore Road. It’s vitally important.”
Cllr Coyle said without the bridge Belleek village could come to a standstill at times.  
“Without it you would have to go into Belleek and come around and back up the Lough Shore Road. That would probably add about seven miles on your journey. With the extra traffic going in through the town, on a summer’s day, for example, with people going to the beach, the congestion in Belleek would be really bad.” 
Cllr Coyle said the lack of a Stormont Assembly was holding up projects such as this, and added Brexit was also having an impact. 
“I had asked about European funding but because Brexit is coming, but the Department were very lackadaisical on that, even though the backstop will hopefully keep us in the Customs Union and we’ll hopefully be able to still draw down funding. They didn’t look at it, and I’ve raised it a number of times.”

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