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20 Aug 2022

Pedestrian bridges would unlock ‘massive potential’ for Graignamanagh

Kilkenny

The River Barrow in Graignamanagh

New pedestrian bridges across the River Barrow in Graignamanagh would link amenity areas, encourage private development and unlock ‘massive potential’ for the town.


Giving an update to local councillors on a feasibility study that is currently underway on the proposals, Senior Engineer Frank Stafford said the bridges would be part of the development of Graignamanagh as a tourist hub.


Mr Stafford stressed that the project is at a very early stage, however the completed consultant’s report will not only tell them if it is value for money and ‘do-able,’ but will also ready the county council to apply for funding if the projects do go ahead.
A feasibility study is being carried out in partnership with Kilkenny Leader Partnership.


Separate Studies
Mr Stafford said it was important to distinguish this study from a separate study currently underway to improve the existing George Semple Bridge.
The possibility of new pedestrian bridges, one upstream and one downstream of the current bridge, was suggested as part of plans to develop Graignamanagh as a tourism hub, in the Graignamanagh/ Tinnahinch Tourism and Recreational Project Concept Study, in 2019.


A question in that report was how to link the Barrow Way with other attractions in Graignamanagh.

One bridge location was identified to open up ‘Tinnahinch Park’ with Silaire Wood and the boat club. This would alleviate crowding on one side of the river and open up the Tinnahinch side to off-street parking facilities. Swimming areas would be linked and it would make the area more attractive to private development, Mr Stafford said.
This bridge will probably have to be wider than any bridge downstream, and would require ‘in river’ works.
The Senior Engineer said this option might require the realignment of the Barrow Way on one side and the acquisition of private land on the other side. It will be difficult to get through the planning process. He is eager to see the consultant’s proposals for the area, he told councillors.

Second Bridge
A second bridge could be located linking the Outdoor Activities Hub to the Tinnahinch side of the river, via the existing lock and island. Using the lock would reduce the space required for the bridge and would mean they did not have to carry out ‘in river’ work, he said.
Mr Stafford the bridges would link the Barrow Way into the Brandon Hill Walk.


He hopes to have draft designs from the feasibility study by the end of the third quarter of this year.
Mr Stafford said it is hoped to have a meeting with landowners in the area later this month.
Thanking Mr Stafford for his hard work on the project, Cllr Peter ‘Chap’ Cleere said he had hoped for one safe, pedestrian bridge crossing for Graignamanagh but to hear there is a “real life possibility we could get three is music to my ears.”
There is a conflict between vehicles, pedestrians and bikes on the Graignamanagh bridge at the moment, he said.

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