Having thankfully commenced before public spending cutbacks kicked in, progress on the new bridge over the River Suir between Grannagh and Slieverue continues apace, as this photo taken last week shows.

Running 465 metres long with a span of half that distance, the hi-tech structure will be the longest such crossing in Ireland. A series of ‘stay cables’ will fan out from the top of the 100m-tall, 300-tonne ‘A’-frame tower to support the 30m-wide main span.

The asymmetrical design removes the need for intermediate supports or piers in the river and permits a longer and less-thick deck. Thus, there is little or no construction required in the fast-flowing, deep waters, with resultant cost, time and environmental benefits, explains Project Liaison Officer Tom Hartery of Waterford City Council. It also allows greater clearance for boats passing beneath.

Adding to its aesthetic merit, the inner face of the legs will be lit by feature lighting. “At night the tower will have a ghost like aura when viewed obliquely at distance,” say the designers.

Work began in May 2007, over 12 months after construction started on the N25 City bypass road network, and 40 years whence a second bridge was first proposed to Government. The overall cost of the N25 bypass project will come in at around €600m.