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Plans for new pedestrian and cycle bridge lodged to replace demolished Craigavon footbridge

The Moylinn footbridge before its removal last March

Formal plans to build a replacement footbridge at Moylinn in Craigavon have been drawn up a year after it was demolished.

The foot and cycle bridge was regularly used but was removed in March of last year.

Now proposals have been submitted to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council to build a new steel bridge, with a span of 45 metres.

An application has come forward from the Department for Infrastructure’s Southern Division, based at nearby Marlborough House.

The Moylinn footbridge spanned the Lake Road at Craigavon, but was demolished following a structural assessment.

By way of update, Divisional Roads Manager Mark McPeake told ABC Council in October that while it was the department’s intention to replace the Moylinn footbridge in 2024, there were financial considerations.

“I have a procurement slot, for next February/ March to put a tender out, but that’s obviously subject to statutory processes – getting planning approval, land and importantly, funding,” he said at the time.

That application has now emerged with details of the new planned structure.

Lane closures would be expected at off-peak times to facilitate construction, according to a traffic management paper.

The building of the bridge is expected to take three or four months and will be carried out in phases.

It is intended that it would have a 120-year ‘design life’.

Plans for replacement bridge in Craigavon

Plans for replacement bridge in Craigavon

A planning statement outlines: “Moylinn East footbridge was demolished in March 2023 as it was economically unviable to repair. The original structure provided pedestrian access over the Lake Road A3 dual carriageway between Tullygally Roundabout and Lakes Roundabout in Craigavon. “The footbridge has a Southeast –Northwest alignment with the underlying A3 dual carriageway running Southwest – Northeast. The footbridge previously linked the residential areas of Drumgor and Legahory at the south-eastern end of the site with Craigavon South Lake and the adjacent Leisure Centre to the northwest.

“The application proposes the construction of a new combined pedestrian and cycle bridge to replace the existing structure…The replacement footbridge is proposed to be constructed on the footprint of the old structure and will tie into existing approach footpath levels.

“The current overall distance between top of embankments is approximately 60m. The design proposal is to provide a single span crossing, thus mitigating the collision risk to intermediate supports.

“The proposal is to achieve a clear single span of 45m so that a relatively simple and conventional deck type can be specified.”

The site has been previously cleared in March 2023 to “facilitate the demolition of the old structure”.

And the planning statement adds: “It is anticipated that additional vegetation clearance will not be required for the construction of the new bridge.

“Remaining buried elements of the old structure will be excavated and removed from site to facilitate the
construction of the new bridge supports.”

The application will now be advertised shortly to allow the public to have their say on the new bridge plans.

Alliance Upper Bann MLA, Eóin Tennyson, said the replacement bridge will be welcomed by the local community.

“The previous footbridge was a well-used and important connection for residents in the area to access Craigavon Lakes, therefore, it is imperative that the bridge is reinstated as soon as possible,” he said.

“Alliance will continue to engage with the Department to ensure that funding is allocated to the project once planning permission is received to allow the procurement process to take place and the footbridge ultimately constructed.”

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