Omagh bridge installation goes awry

Published Wednesday, 20 February 2013
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The installation of a bridge costing thousands of pounds over a river in Omagh, Co Tyrone has had to be aborted after it warped before it was put in place.

Omagh bridge installation goes awry
The bridge was damaged before it could be installed on Monday. (© UTV)

On Monday, a work crew attempted to install the 40-tonne steel foot-and-cycle bridge.

The project was funded as part of a £900k scheme to create a new riverbank foot-and-cycle pathway joining local communities between Hunter Crescent and Lisanelly together.

The local council and the Department for Social Development, as well as transport charity Sustrans, have supported the build which has been the culmination of years of planning.

A tandem lift using two cranes was needed to swing the bridge into position, which requires considerable engineering and preparation.

However, before the bridge reached the opposite bank, parts began to become noticeably warped.

The stress caused support struts to visibly bend and reaching the other bank became a bridge too far.

Omagh District Council has said that the operation was suspended due to "complications during installation" and associated damage to the structure.

A statement explained: "Council officials have received an initial briefing from the contractor for the section (McLaughlin & Harvey) and have requested a report by the end of the week identifying what happened and outlining the actions proposed to complete the installation of the Bridge.

"Work on the remaining element of the £900k project is unaffected and it is currently anticipated that the project will be completed on programme.

"The project funders, Department for Social Development (DSD) and Sustrans have been appraised of developments and are continuing to work with the council to progress the project."

It has not yet been established what caused the damage or when another attempt to install the bridge will be made.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Ricky Lane in US wrote (507 days ago):
I bet the rental cost of that 500 tn. does not seem like a lot of money now. However, the incorrect picking points are obvious as well.
Brent Brewer in San Diego, California wrote (691 days ago):
The bridge was not engineered to be picked at 2/3rd span. The forces transfer to the ends of the arch where the bridge would rest on the abutments. The bridge should have been rigged from each end. Brent Brewer
Only in NI in Can get nothing right wrote (704 days ago):
A bit of extra work for someone.
David Scobie in Omagh wrote (704 days ago):
hahaha only in Omagh
Stephen in Belfast wrote (704 days ago):
That type of mistake will be 'hard to get over'
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