Achill greenway bridge finally in place

BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER The brand new bridge for the Achill greenway at Springvale, outdoors Achill Sound.

Edwin McGreal

The notorious greenway bridge in Achill which was on the centre of the Nice Greenway Scandal has lastly been put in.
Practically three years after Mayo County Council declared the bridge was in situ in a false funding declare, work is concluding on a bridge to hyperlink the greenway at Achill Sound with the greenway at Sáile.
The bridge itself has been put in and work on the web site is ongoing.
The bridge was the primary crimson flag within the Nice Greenway Scandal which led to prolonged investigations by the Division of Rural and Neighborhood Growth of Mayo County Council greenway tasks funded by the Division.
A ‘random’ Division audit on the Achill bridge commenced in March 2020 after the council drew down €200,000 in Division funding in October 2019, signing paperwork stating the bridge was full. Work on it had not even commenced with building on it solely getting underway in latest weeks.
It turned out that whereas the council had drawn down €200,000, the tender they acquired for developing the bridge was over 3 times that, €750,000.
When the Division found the council had lied in regards to the bridge being accomplished in Achill, they widened their investigation. They unearthed over €2 million of false funding claims all through the county.
In all of the council needed to hand again over €1 million whereas they got strict deadlines and situations for the completion of different tasks.
They have been additionally frozen out from all Division funding schemes from December 2021 to July of this yr.
Since July, the Division are finishing up pre-payment inspections on all claims submitted by Mayo County Council till March 2023, when issues will likely be reviewed.
The programmes impacted by the funding freeze and subsequent pre-payment inspections embrace the CLÁR Programme, the City and Village Renewal Scheme, the Rural Regeneration and Growth Fund and the Outside Recreation and Infrastructure Scheme.
The bridge will hyperlink the Achill Sound Greenway with the Sáile part. The Sound greenway is an extension of the Nice Western Greenway from Westport to Achill whereas work on concluding the Sáile part to Cashel is ongoing. There are plans to proceed that hyperlink to Keel with additionally plans to run a greenway south from Achill Sound to Cloughmore on Achill Island.
Presently anybody trying to cycle on the greenway from Achill Sound to Sáile has to cycle alongside the primary highway at Springvale.
The brand new bridge is located some 50 metres west of the place the unique bridge was deliberate. It’s also situated at a narrower stretch of water, over a stream, fairly than throughout a sea inlet nearer to Achill Sound the place the unique bridge was to be situated.


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