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Killaloe bypass, Shannon crossing & R494 Birdhill-Killaloe



  • Registered Users Posts: 19,901 ✭✭✭✭cnocbui

    It's only got 33m of head (measured at low tide!). That's a measly 3.2 bar of pressure, 0.2 more than my plumbing operates at.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,660 ✭✭✭dennyk

    The R494 is meant to reopen this coming May, once the work on the railway bridge is complete. According to the current plans, the traffic management measures on the R494 should also be gone by that point, though there's always a chance some of the other work might be delayed and still require some realignments and single-lane traffic management measures for a time.

    Currently there's no permanent obstruction on the R463 at the north junction of the bypass, only an occasional stop/go traffic management system for when equipment is crossing the road. I don't know if there will be any future closures there when they start working on the new roundabout in earnest, but I'd think there should be sufficient room to allow traffic through, albeit maybe with some alignment shifts from time to time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,969 ✭✭✭ItHurtsWhenIP

    @Hibernicis I'm not sure if their ESB are still running tours of the facility. I went some years back and it was fascinating and I would highly recommend it if the opportunity arises.

    Some of the lads from my Men's Shed went on the tour there last year. They very much enjoyed it. I haven't been there since a school tour back in the 70's.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 67,948 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    In the case of Dungloe in Donegal, the local system that was replaced was already hydroelectric but prone to not generating enough power in drier months.

    Had an early case of demand-shedding, the churches and some other properties had electric heating that could be turned off at the power station if output was low!

    28 different pre-ESB private operators in Donegal towns and villages, some very small (Frosses for instance)

  • Registered Users Posts: 793 ✭✭✭pajoguy

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,453 ✭✭✭Hibernicis

    Video from Dronehawk showing progress on the bridge

  • Registered Users Posts: 793 ✭✭✭pajoguy

    O connel quarriee tiktok footage of concrete pour

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,453 ✭✭✭Hibernicis

    Great find, great video. Pity it’s so short. Bridge very advanced in the few weeks since the Dronehawk video.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 11,886 Mod ✭✭✭✭Cookiemunster

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 11,886 Mod ✭✭✭✭Cookiemunster

    Good old DroneHawk was out again. It looks like all the steelwork is in.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,901 ✭✭✭✭cnocbui

    There is a dark side to this project. The roads on the Ballina side were in need of a major fix and upgrade even a couple years prior to them even removing all those lovely old trees, but the project has delayed any prospect of that as it's part of the finishing touches, so in the meantime the roads have further degraded and become more manky.

    I can't wait till this is finished just so the roads get the attention thay have needed for years.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,660 ✭✭✭dennyk

    Which roads on the Ballina side? The whole of the R494 from the R496 junction to the Birdhill roundabout is being completely rebuilt as part of the whole bypass project, so that's going to be a brand new and much wider/straighter stretch of road once the work is done.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,901 ✭✭✭✭cnocbui

    The R496 was being patched almost weekly when it was raining and thay have had to resurface bits and scrape dirt accumulations at the base of bounding walls to recover lost width as all traffic now uses it and large semi's are barely squeezing past each other, and they have to pick their places in order to manage that. It's not reacting gracefully to taking all the traffic. As for that moronic, typical Irish penny pinching single lane choke point at the R445 junction, words fail me. Effectively now 4 lanes of traffic all squeezed down into one to save rebuilding or adequately upgrading a tiny bridge across a stream - grrrrr.

    The R494 is the one that I am mostly referring to. It has been of inadequate condition for years. The remaining section not closed from the R496 junction into the village up to the car park at the boat ramp would be the bit that most needs some attention. I can't even remember the last time any resurfacing was done on it. It's needed doing for many years.

    Knowing something will be fixed in time is no consolation in the present.

    Had I been aware they were going to remove all the trees along the R494 in order to improve it as much as they look to be doing, I'd prefer they had left the trees alone and not upgraded it beyond what could be done consistent with retaining the trees.

    I know that sounds very nimby but anyone not familliar with the Bidhill to Ballina journey prior, I would hope would concur. Must have been quite impressive for tourists, I know it had an impact on me first time I drove it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 29 joeymcg

    Edit - never mind found it on google maps.

    4 lanes to one over a stream. Where are you talking about?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,660 ✭✭✭dennyk

    Both of the bridge chokepoints on the R496 are a bit silly, sure, but to be fair, they're hardly unusual for lesser used rural roads (and the R496 wasn't very heavily used until it became the diversion route). Replacing even a small bridge takes ages, so trying to do that before the R494 upgrades would have delayed the latter significantly.

    I do agree that the R494 has definitely lost a lot of its charm with the removal of the canopy trees and hedgerows, but it was necessary to make the planned improvements for safety and pedestrian use, which are both positives that I think outweigh the negative visual impact.

    You are right that the bit of road by Templeachally is in dire shape and could definitely do with some repairs. Maybe after the main works are complete, they'll tackle that bit eventually. Would be nice if they'd do something with the bridge by the water treatment plant to add a safe pedestrian/cyclist link between the new section of the R494 and the improvements they already made in Ballina, but that would be a much larger project, so that might not be in the cards for a while.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,801 ✭✭✭Odelay

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,901 ✭✭✭✭cnocbui

    The bridge over the stream circled was squeezed down to one lane because they couldn't be arsed fixing it properly. Now 2 roads worth of two lane traffic have been funneled through this ridiculous piece of Irish road infrastructure idiocy.

    There was never a problem with the actual road surface there, it was just blocks of stone kept falling off the wall on one side.

    I predicted it would cause accidents when they first did it and it and was right. A year or two ago I had to divert because there had been a 100% predicatable head on collision, and I doubt that was the only one there have been. All the motorists fault of course, never the road engineers or penny pinchers.

    I don't know how people can blithely defend this sort of crap - 'ah sure, to be fair, it's the republic of retardistan we be living in, not the country having the highest surplus in the EU last year (€10B)'.

    People literally dying on trolleys at LRH with apalling regularity and not one person makes a peep about building a properly sized replacemnt for that shambolic rabbit warren that is 200-300 beds short for the last 20+ years.

    Needless head on collisions, needless deaths. Great little first world country.

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,977 Mod ✭✭✭✭spacetweek

    This isn’t a thread about trolleys in a Limerick hospital. Stay on topic please.

  • Registered Users Posts: 144 ✭✭Mrs Dempsey

    "Now 2 roads worth of two lane traffic have been funneled through this ridiculous piece of Irish road"

    4 lanes? I'm lost - really lost.

    Luckily this piece of road is not near Glenamaddy - 4 roads & all of that. 😉

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,768 ✭✭✭Pete_Cavan

    I presume that he is counting the R494 as two of the lanes, in addition to the R496 itself. It is obviously complete nonsense

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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,901 ✭✭✭✭cnocbui

    Explain what you consider to be nonsensical about the argument.

    If you have 4 doors at a sporting venue, and you lock 3 of them, does that not mean that the one remaining door is now accommodating the traffic flow previously handled by 4 doors?

  • Registered Users Posts: 144 ✭✭Mrs Dempsey

    Traffic lanes are not 2 way doors; they are one directional.

    Consequently your door comparison is not valid unless there are 2 exclusive entry & 2 exclusive exit doors. The stadium doors do not operate that way - they alternate as entrances @ the start of the game / show & exits @ the conclusion.

    Traffic lanes do not operate this way

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,901 ✭✭✭✭cnocbui

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,930 ✭✭✭cantalach

    Just so we’re clear:

    • The bridge is on a straight road.
    • On one side there is a sign warning that the road is going to narrow.
    • On the other side there is a yield sign.
    • This is seen on narrow old bridges all over the country.
    • You maintain that if there’s a collision the motorist isn’t at fault.

    Have I got that right?

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,901 ✭✭✭✭cnocbui

    I said the motorist who doesn't yield is legally at fault. That bridge was two lane for many years, but instead of being repaired properly, which was the safest and correct course of action. It was just narrowed and made a single lane guarantee of collisions. Now that this choke point is taking most of the traffic flow in and out of the area, the legally correct yield system breaks down during rush hours because the traffic yielding gets very limited opportunities to proceed because the increased volume of traffic means there can be long periods without gaps and 200m tailbacks build up. Now when there is a gap the tailback that has been waiting for some time all goes and generally doesnt yield for the priority traffic for a while, which now has to stop and yield, despite being legally in the right, or cause an accident.

    None of this mess would be happening if the bridge had been fixed properly so as to remain two lane.

    The entire reason the new bridge is being built in the first place is because the existing bridge - which also used to be two way, was made alternating one way, causing significant tailbacks of traffic and long delays because the rate of flow was halved. To put it another way, this €41m bridge is being built because making two lanes of traffic share one lane alternately, didn't work well enough given the volumes of traffic involved, which is the same problem with the choke point I mentioned, except at least the bridge has traffic lights to give both directions a chance to proceed instead of yield sign that is completely impractical at certain times.

    The bridge is supposed to fix a single lane bottleneck, and work on it has made things worse for another single lane bottleneck as a result.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,768 ✭✭✭Pete_Cavan

    To put it another way, this €41m bridge is being built because making two lanes of traffic share one lane alternately, didn't work well enough given the volumes of traffic involved, which is the same problem with the choke point I mentioned

    The problem may be the same on the most basic level but given the actual context of each situation, they are very different. The bridge over the Shannon carries far more traffic and is the only option for a lot of people for various journeys in and around Killaloe. The addition of a new bridge will also allow for the historic bridge to be used only by pedestrians/cyclists and for space beside the river to be reallocated.

    While the R496 may be carrying more traffic at present, that is only a short-term issue. Once the R494 is fully opened, the vast majority of traffic will use it. The R496 doesn't serve any particular destinations, it is a local road in reality and should be redesignated as such. It was likely part of the strategy to push more traffic onto the road which was due to get a significant upgrade, thus reducing wear and tear on the minor road.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,901 ✭✭✭✭cnocbui

    I am well aware the volume of traffic will decline once everything is complete, but the choke point will remain. There should never have been a road hazard deliberately created for bad reasons.

    The R 496 is the main route connecting the area with Nenagh, it is not local only. It's used by goods delivery vehicles coming from or heading to Nenagh as well as those commuting.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,801 ✭✭✭Odelay

    neither bridge was made single pass for the laugh. They were made single pass for safety reasons. Safety trumps inconvenience.

    The r496, will not be a bottleneck after this is all over. The traffic travelling to the junction, may have to occasionally slow down or stop 50m before the junction they have to stop at anyway. There are more deserving projects to spend money on than widening a bridge to alleviate that very minor inconvenience.