Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has welcomed the commencement of pilling works on the four pier foundations which will support the new sustainable transport bridge which will link the Waterford North and South Quays. Government has allocated a record €170.6 million to develop the north quays and associated infrastructure which include an integrated transportation hub for bus and rail, new road interchanges, rock stabilisation works, flood relief works and the construction of a sustainable transport bridge.
Senator Cummins said “It has been great to see contractor BAM ramping up site works on the North Quays over the last couple of months, with major deliveries of steel and preliminary works on both the North and South Quays to ready the site for the commencement of the sustainable transport bridge works. This week a significant milestone was reached as BAMs construction barge ‘Skerchi’ was towed into place to commence piling works for the four bridge pier foundations”.
The piers require construction of a cofferdam, a watertight enclosure to allow construction work below the waterline. The cofferdams will be created by driving interlocking piles through the bed of the River Suir to form the watertight enclosures. The water is then pumped out of the cofferdam so the construction of the pier foundations can commence.
The ‘Skerchi’ is currently anchored on the south side of the river to create a stable working platform, as a 250 tonne crane drives steel piles into the riverbed. The barge will then be towed by tugboat to the north side of the river to create the cofferdams for the two piers on the north side. This will allow river navigation to continue along the central navigation channel.
Senator Cummins said “The Sustainable Transport Bridge will connect the North Quays to heart of the city centre, providing access for pedestrians, bicycles, and a courtesy bus service. This is an integral part of the whole north quays project bringing Ferrybank closer to the city centre and integrating all modes of public transportation.”
“I am very proud that government has backed this project from the outset, firstly in designating the site as a strategic development zone in 2016, then providing incremental funding to devise and develop the plans which we now see coming to fruition before our very eyes. €170.6 million is a hugely significant level of funding which I feel demonstrates the governments commitment to developing Waterford as the economic growth centre for the South East, in line with the National Planning Framework.
He concluded by saying “While there have been many bumps in the road, there has been a core group of individuals who have stuck with this project and drove it forward, overcoming every obstacle which was put in the way. The result however is that work is well and truly underway on this game changing development for Waterford and the wider South East region.