Reopening of Cork’s restored Shakey Bridge in doubt

Reopening of Cork’s restored Shakey Bridge in doubt

A €25m state-funded quay extension at one of the country’s busiest fishing ports has ground to a halt and the reopening this month of Cork’s restored Shakey bridge is in doubt.

The same company, Keating Construction, is involved in both projects.

The company did not respond to a request for comment.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, has confirmed that it has issues with the pace of progress on the €25m Dinish Island project to extend the quay at Castletownbere in Co Cork and that it is “engaged closely” with the contractors on the issue.

The contract was awarded to L&M Keatings Ltd in 2018. Headquartered in Clare, it is one of the country’s largest marine, civil engineering and building firms. It has undergone a name change since and is now known as Keating Construction.

The same company delivered the Cape Clear harbour project, the ‘living bridge’ project on the University of Limerick campus, the Mary Elmes pedestrian and cycling bridge in Cork city.

It is also overseeing the renovation and restoration of the historic Daly’s Bridge, known locally as the Shakey bridge, in Cork’s Fitzgerald’s Park.

The restored bridge has been installed but it is understood that there are several weeks of work outstanding on both banks of the River Lee.

An official opening ceremony was due to take place later this month, but that ceremony is now in doubt.

The Department of Agriculture owns, operates and maintains six designated state-owned fishery harbour centres at Dingle, Dunmore East, Howth, Killybegs, Ros An Mhíl and Castletownbere.

The facility at Castletownbere on the southwest coast is one of the country’s busiest white-fish ports.

Following a competitive tender competition, the department awarded a contract to L&M Keatings Ltd to construct a 216-metre quay extension on Dinish Island, Castletownbere.

Work started on site in October 2018 and there has been significant progress in the delivery of the project over the last two years or so, with a substantial element of the works now completed.

But in a statement to the Irish Examiner, the department said work on the site has slowed in the last week, and “progress has not been satisfactory”.

“The department, in conjunction with its consulting engineers, who are administering the works contract, are engaged closely with the contractor in this regard,” a spokesman said.

But there are fears that it could be some time before the issues are resolved after a tug travelled from Scotland over the weekend and removed a large pontoon which was being used as part of the construction work. 

 

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