A SECOND pedestrian bridge for Strabane is back on the agenda, after council allocated funds to a forthcoming scoping exercise.
Committing some £23,000 into an appraisal for a second spanning of the River Mourne – between the bus depot and the centre of the town – members heard about the need to progress a “costed options” process for any new bridge.
Some years ago the Strabane 2000 Initiative identified the need for two pedestrian bridges on the town, however subsequent proposals were not progressed.
On recent report to members explained, “Derry City and Strabane District Council, together with partners in the Department for Infrastructure and Department for Communities, have established a project board to progress a wider connectivity/public realm improvement scheme to look at improving pedestrian and cycle access in Strabane in light of approved and planned development, which has taken place since 2009/10.”
This scheme would seek to further enhance or create convenient links within central Strabane and encourage the use of sustainable modes of transport.
The report continued, “There is a need to progress a costed options appraisal report for the pedestrian bridge element of the scheme in order to reflect today’s context.”
It was subsequently proposed that a previous study be updated to reflect the new project and also, “the need for a less iconic bridge design and current market prices”.
The full cost of the options appraisal for any new bridge is £45,700, £23,000 of which will be paid by council.
Independent member at council, Paul Gallagher says any scoping exercise should only be a formality, as the need for the second bridge is obvious.
“Council has set aside some £23,000 for the feasibility study and this must be seen as encouraging,” he said.
“Any study will talk about costings, plans and locations but if anything it will only provide a concrete argument for the much-needed bridge.
“It’s badly needed. After the bus depot site was developed it would be madness to think that the depot – and everything else that’s there – should remain cut off from the town by the river.”