Dáil Éireann - Volume 433 - 29 June, 1993

Written Answers. - Waterford High Level Bridge.

174. Mr. Kenneally asked the Minister for the Environment when he was last approached for finance by Waterford Corporation in relation to the proposal for a high level bridge in Waterford in order to allow a study to be undertaken to provide the necessary data on traffic patterns; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

175. Mr. Kenneally asked the Minister for the Environment if he has received a request from Waterford Corporation seeking authorisation for a grant to fund the environmental impact study which is necessary in the context of the provision of a high level bridge for Waterford; and, if so, if the necessary funding will be provided.

Minister for the Environment (Mr. M. Smith): I propose to take Questions Nos. 174 and 175 together.

The position concerning the provision of a high level bridge in Waterford is set out in the reply to Question No. 79 of 2 July, 1992, and in my reply to the Adjournment Debate on the matter on 10 February 1993. As I indicated then, in view of the extensive programme of road improvements which has been carried out in the area since the proposal was the subject of a Bridge Order application in the 1970s, any proposal for the provision [158] of a further bridge would have to be examined very closely in relation to the likely cost, and the benefits to be derived from it.

Last March, Waterford Corporation, acting in co-operation with Kilkenny County Council, submitted a proposal for a consultancy study which would involve a fundamental review of all relevant factors concerning the provision of a further bridge, including existing and predicted traffic volumes and patterns, the capacity of the existing road network, the examination of environmental implications and cost factors. The brief for the study and a request for funding to allow it to proceed are being examined in my Department and I will inform the corporation of my decision as soon as possible.