Iconic bridge closed during Storm Ciara just days after official opening

Iconic bridge closed during Storm Ciara just days after official opening

Nine days after the opening of the iconic Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge, BAM took the decision to close it during Storm Ciara.

Due to a lack of communication many drivers, Wexford County Council and media outlets – apart from AA Roadwatch – were not made aware of the bridge closure which came into effect from midnight until 8.30am on Sunday when winds were reportedly gusting at up to 130 km/h.

Part of a wooden shed was blown onto a road accessing the bridge during the height of the storm, but this was not a direct factor in the closure of the structure.

An orange weather alert was in place until noon that day but the bridge reopened to traffic at 8.30am.

Due to the announcement of the bridge closure on social media, and no follow-up details being furnished to the local authority and the local media, many people believed the bridge was closed until well into the afternoon, meaning traffic was very light on the structure.

Director of services for roads with Wexford County Council Eamonn Hore said he has sought a protocol update from BAM as to what are the circumstances in which the bridge will be closed in future.

The 887m bridge, which is 36m, has been captured thousands of times in photographs and has lit up social media.

The bridge is the longest in Ireland, and its two main spans are the longest post-tensioned concrete spans of their type in the world.

The bridge was constructed in a series of 16 distinct sequential stages, some of which overlapped or began at the same time.

It forms a crucial part of the 14km N25 New Ross bypass, connecting south Kilkenny at Glenmore with south Wexford at Stokestown.

In total, approximately 500km of strand was used in the cable system.

The cables have been laid in a maze of channels through the bridge structure by engineers from all over the world.

They allow for the expansion of the bridge during hot weather.

The bridge used 7,000 tonnes of reinforcing steel, similar to the weight of the Eiffel Tower and it took 2.5m hours of work by more than 1,000 people from 14 countries to complete the €230m project.

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