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18/09/2021

Pedestrian underpass needed near Leitrim Blueway bridge say councillors

Brendan Barry

Cllr Brendan Barry has called for hedgecutting and extra signage in the short term as the Council waits for funding for the underpass.

A funding application has been made to provide an underpass for the Blueway at Drumhauver bridge near Drumshanbo and in the meantime, Leitrim County Council will trim back hedges on both approaches to the bridge in a an effort to increase visibility for drivers and walkers in this area.
Cllr Brendan Barry raised the need for the underpass again at the Ballinamore Municipal District meeting, noting that there was a real fear that a walker or cyclists will be injured.
He said that recently a family had been out cycling in the area and one of the young children had pulled ahead a bit.
“This sort of thing could very easily result in an accident because walkers and cyclists can't see cars and vehicles can't see them until the last moment,” he said.
“There really needs to be an underpass put in place here. I don't want it on my conscience if something happens at this location and we haven't done all we can to make it safe.”
He said that if the hedges on the approaches to both sides of the bridge were cut back this would improve sight lines for motorists and walkers.
“This could be a solution in the short term,” he said adding that additional warning signage should also be put in place.
Cllr Enda McGloin backed the motion noting that, even if an application for an underpass is successful then it will take 12-18 months before it is complete.
“In the meantime the issue of safety is paramount and I think Leitrim County Council should take the urgency of the matter on board. There have been a number of near misses at this location, he said.
Cllr Gerry Dolan and Cllr Paddy O'Rourke also backed the call for hedgecutting and signage in the short term.
Assistant District Engineer, Alison McKeon said that a funding application has been made under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme for funding to provide an underpass at Drumhauver bridge.
“There are already two signs in place, (for both pedestrians and cyclists), on both approaches to this bridge,” she said but she will speak with the Road Design Office about additional warning signage.
She confirmed the bridge has been added to the list for urgent hedgecutting on both approaches.

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