Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Most Battered Bridge in Ireland

In August 2006, Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) announced that, over the previous five years, more than 720 railway bridges had been hit and damaged by lorries, at a cost of €25.5 million to the company. I was intrigued to learn that the bridge I grew up beside merited the invidious title of The Most Battered Bridge in Ireland, 2005. This unfortunate edifice - under which I walk a few times each day - suffered a total of 22 direct hits. And in fourth place, with 8 hits, in the Top Five of Stricken Structures? The bridge over the Mountrath Road. Clearly, Portlaoise is not the place to be if you're a bridge. On a serious note, it seems that, despite all the signs and warnings, some drivers, in charge of forty-tonne battering rams (which I have seen being forced under the bridge and nonchalantly driven off), are either illiterate or totally heedless of the safety of others.


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