CONSTRUCTION work is due to start early next year on the new bridge over the Barrow in the area known as the Pink Rock.

Work will take about three years at a cost of €228 million and, when it is completed, the bridge will be the longest in Ireland at a whopping 900 metres.

It will certainly make some difference to people travelling to Wexford or up the east coast from Waterford as it will eliminate the sometimes bottleneck at New Ross.

While no hard decision has yet been taken, it is likely the new structure will be named the JFK Bridge in honour of slain President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

The entrance to the Wexford side of the crossing will be less than a mile from the Kennedy family homestead at Dunganstown and, already, there are talks about twinning it with the Robert F Kennedy Bridge in New York.

The river crossing in Waterford City is called Rice Bridge in honour of the founder of the Christian Brothers and the Presentation Brothers, Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice, while the structure it replaced was named Redmond Bridge after the early 20th century politician and Home Rule advocate, John Redmond.

Our second river crossing at Grannagh has no name because politicians in Waterford City, Waterford County and Kilkenny County Council couldn’t agree a common theme.