Free Old Bridge bus service starts on January 4

The free bus service connecting the Old Bridge area to Clonmel town centre for the duration of the flood relief works will commence on January 4, 2011. The service is organised by Clonmel Borough Council, and is funded by the Office of Public Works.

The free bus service connecting the Old Bridge area to Clonmel town centre for the duration of the flood relief works will commence on January 4, 2011. The service is organised by Clonmel Borough Council, and is funded by the Office of Public Works.

The River Suir (Clonmel) Drainage Scheme is a significant infrastructural project, which when complete will protect the town of Clonmel from flooding from the River Suir.

Good Progress has been made under the current phase of the scheme which got under way in September 2010. A significant portion of the new quay walls have been constructed, from Angelsea Street to Dowd's Lane with work continuing here after Christmas. Sheet piling operations, which will prevent the flow of water through the ground during a flood, have begun in numerous locations including the Showgrounds and on Suir Island. A number of pump stations are also under construction with associated drainage work to follow in the new year.

A critical element of these flood protection works is the strengthening and upgrading of each of the five Bridge structures in the Suir Island and Old Bridge area. Work will begin in earnest on the first structure on January 4. The first structure to be worked on will be the Old Bridge itself. The piers of this bridge will require strengthening with ground anchors. Thereafter the old parapet walls will have to be demolished and then rebuilt. This bridge will reopen before works commence at the next bridge.

The nature and scale of the construction works involved dictates that each bridge will be closed to both pedestrians and vehicular traffic while work on it progresses. Only one bridge will be worked on at any one time. This will ensure that access to all businesses and private properties on Suir Island, Spring Garden and Green Lane will be maintained at all times. However there will be no through traffic from the Raheen Rd to Old Quay while the works are on-going. The works on all of the Bridges is anticipated to be completed by the end of February 2012.

In order to alleviate any disruption to pedestrians, Clonmel Borough Council in conjunction with the OPW, have arranged for a free shuttle bus service which will run from Old Bridge to O'Connell St. This bus service will be provided for the duration of the works, commencing on January 4. The bus will leave from the green outside the Emigrants' Rest in Old Bridge and terminate at The Book Centre on O'Connell Street, with the return journey following the same route. The first bus leaves Old Bridge at 8:00am and the first bus leaving O'Connell Street at 8:15am Monday to Saturday. A Sunday service will operate with services running on the half hour from 10:30am to 1:30pm from Old Bridge and 10:45am to 1:45pm from O'Connell Street. There are also some additional buses provided on Thursday and Saturday evenings to facilitate people who wish to avail of the late night shopping and mass in town.

The work on the bridges is an essential element of the flood alleviation works. Every effort will be made to ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum.