By Dan Walsh
A submission for funding has been activated under the Active Travel Scheme to progress the Courtown to Gorey footpath that would bring the project up to the tendering stage. The news was welcomed by members at today’s January meeting of Gorey-Kilmuckridge Municipal District held under public health guidelines by Microsoft Teams.
Executive Engineer Joanne Kehoe included the information in her monthly report circulated to members.
Three applications for funding has been submitted in connection with the extension and completion of the Gorey-Courtown footpath including just over €50,000 for the next phase which is footpath construction stage and a feasibility study for the remainder of the footpath and route selection, and consultation services for the design of the footbridge costing around €100,000.
Cathaoirleach Cllr Joe Sullivan said the joint project of the bridge and the footpath is what the general population and the Council have been looking forward to for some time and he is extremely hopeful that Ms Kehoe’s office is going to bring it to a successful conclusion and he complimented the department involved.
He added that the work will complement the route between Gorey and Courtown but raised some issues with current lighting standards, but Ms Kehoe stated that improved public lighting was included in the scheme.
Cllr Andrew Bolger also welcomed the project and felt that if funding were forthcoming for the footbridge – “it would be a real game changer.” Cllr Donal Kenny added his support.
Cllr Fionntáin Ó Suilleabháin noted that since the lockdown there is a recognition of the importance of walkways and he welcomed the news. “We are linking two urban areas with more than 15,000 people. It is going to be huge and it is a crucial project in the times we are living in. It is adjacent to Ballinatray Bridge which is a beautiful and historical bridge. It is almost unique in Ireland.”
The three-arch Ballinatray road bridge (also called the Courtown Viaduct), spanning the Ounavarra river with wooded embankments to river, and erected in 1847 to a design by James Barry Farrell (1810-93), County Surveyor for County Wexford representing an important component of the mid-19th century civil engineering heritage of North Wexford with significant architectural value.