The construction of the Finn Footbridge took a year
The €800,000 Finn Footbridge between Ballybofey and Stranorlar will be officially opened on Monday.
The bridge, which took about a year to build, came about as a result of obvious safety concerns with pedestrian movements over the existing bridge between Ballybofey and Stranorlar.
In recent years there has been a move towards placing greater emphasis on the safe and efficient movement of pedestrians and cyclists through our urban environments.
In recognition of these engineering concerns and design principles, in 2016 the Northwest Bridge Management section of the Donegal National Roads Office (NRO) commissioned the design and construction of a new footbridge over the Finn, to be located within close proximity of the existing masonry arch bridge. Based on a review and consideration, the project was provided approval to proceed from the sanctioning authority, Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).
Following the competitive procurement and appointment of design consultants, a number of design options were developed and considered from an engineering, aesthetics and cost feasibility perspective. The most favorable option involved a board-walk type solution, whereby the new footbridge utilizes the existing masonry arch bridge as a support structure, tying into and bearing directly off the existing bridge.
The main structural load carrying elements of the new footbridge are of protected steel construction, while the decking, carrying the foot traffic, is formed from lighter aluminium.
The 1.4m high pedestrian parapets and railings are formed from stainless steel. The existing parapets have been partially reconstructed from locally sourced schist and finished with a cut limestone coping. The footbridge has an overall length of approximately 60.00m and width of 3.00m. It has taken approximately one year to complete the construction of the footbridge and ancillary works and delivered at a cost of just over €800,000.
The footbridge is an enhanced amenity within the area, with pedestrians, and in particular the hundreds of pupils from the two nearby secondary schools and the local primary school, that cross the bridge on a daily basis realizing the immediate benefit of the new structure.