£30k spend on ‘iconic’ Castlerock railway bridge

The iconic railway bridge at Castlerock is to be revamped at a cost of �30k. INCR
The iconic railway bridge at Castlerock is to be revamped at a cost of �30k. INCR

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council have agreed to spend £30,000 to carry out maintenance work on the railway bridge in Castlerock.

There had been fears that the structure would be removed as it is no longer required as an access between platforms at the station.

Causeway Coast and Glens Council is responsible for the upkeep of the footbridge after the former Coleraine Council entered into a 10,000 year lease with NI Transport Holding Company.

After consultation with community groups in Castlerock, there was a strong feeling that the bridge should be kept.

Many locals felt that the historical relevance of the bridge must be considered and that it should be kept and repaired.

Director of Environmental Services, Aiden McPeak described the work needed as ‘extensive’ and pointed out that after the initial £30,000 spend, the bridge would cost in the region of £2,000 per year for upkeep.

Mr McPeak told members that there would be a lane closure later this year at the station, and that the central span of the bridge would be removed at that point to allow for the work to be carried out. He estimated that the cost to remove the central span, which would require a crane would be an additional £10,000.

DUP Alderman Sam Cole welcomed the spend, saying that it was ‘a lot less’ than Council had previously thought.

“This is a landmark bridge,” he said. “The community want it and NIEA have listed it. It is also an iconic bridge for tourists,” he said.

Ald Cole proposed that Council should carry out the work at a cost of £30,000.

UUP Alderman William King told the meeting that the last maintenance had been carried out some 18 years ago, he said: “ We own this bridge, so we must maintain it.”

He seconded Alderman Cole’s proposal.

TUV councillor Boyd Douglas supported the recommendation, he said: “Everyone is enthusiastic about this bridge, so we must maintain it.”