Belfast Telegraph

Six weeks after North West floods, 80% of roads reopen

By Donna Deeney

Six weeks on from the unprecedented flooding which caused transport chaos across the North West region, repair work to local infrastructure is continuing.

Almost 80% of roads which were closed are now open and some 750 metres of flood defences have been repaired, while £9m of additional funding has been approved. The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) said the vast scale of the area affected still requires site assessments, but priority will be given to the busier routes and bridges, alongside other ongoing essential road maintenance work.

The flood waters caused transport chaos, with more than 200 roads and 600 bridges closed or impacted.

One of the worst affected bridges was the Ballynameen Bridge in Claudy, which has caused considerable hardship to traders in the village because the bridge was a main access route.

A spokesman for the department said that inspection of these has been a massive undertaking but around half of this work has now been completed.

"While 70 bridges have been identified at this stage as being in need of repair, work at most of the bridges is not significant," he said.

"This work will continue over the coming weeks and months to ensure the integrity of the bridges is maintained and public safety is not compromised."

Repair work at the Ballynameen Bridge, Claudy, is being prioritised, given the scale of the damage to the structure.

"Following engineering assessment and design work, the repairs will begin in the next few weeks," he said.

"The work is expected to take around six months to complete. Given the need to keep the site accessible for repair work, it is not possible to install a temporary vehicular bridge.

"However, a temporary pedestrian bridge will be put in place to help to alleviate some of the inconvenience being caused by the road closure."

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