Three main road Bridges spanning the River Shannon linking the East with the West of the country have now being deemed as unsafe for traffic exceeding ten hundred weight (10 Cwt.) including passengers and load.
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Background: Three main road Bridges spanning the River Shannon linking the East with the West of the country have now being deemed as unsafe for traffic exceeding ten hundred weight (10 Cwt.) including passengers and load. These three bridges were built in the early eighteen hundreds (1800). The bridges were built to swing open in the days when many boats used the River Shannon. With the severe cold and snow the waters have now risen after the general thaw. It is now feared that the bridges will have to be closed. The three bridges are grouped in the Mid-Lands of Ireland and one would have to travel an extra one hundred and ten (110) miles in order to cross the River Shannon.
Public Transport Bus services now drive up to the bridges and stop, passengers alighting and walking across the bridges and boarding another Bus on the other side of the river. The Bus routes include the main Dublin to Galway services. Many cattle lorries still break the law by driving over these bridges. Large notices are erected at all these Bridges with warnings of fines up to twenty pounds (GBP20) for crossing the Bridge.
On the two days during which this story was covered no member of the Irish Police Force could be seeing any where near these bridges. Very few people travel by bus this time of the year, but the big trouble will start when the Tourist Season opens with Coach Tours having to cross the River Shannon. In addition tens of thousands of pilgrims who travel by Bus to the Shrines at Knock and Croagh Patrick.
Bridges drop about six inches under the weight of an empty lorry. So far no plans to repair or replace these bridges has being announced.