Plans for the construction of a new pedestrian bridge over the River Corrib next to the Salmon Weir Bridge have progressed with the determination of An Bord Pleanála that an Environmental Impact Statement is not required.
The proposed bridge, approximately 80m in length, will cross three waterways: Persse’s Distillery River (formally called Mill Race), the Lower River Corrib and Friar’s River (formerly called Waterside canal).
The three spans will be roughly 10m, 55m and 15m in length respectively, and upgrade works will also be required to the footpaths on either side of the bridge.
There will be no permanent structures in any of those watercourses as part of the pedestrian and cycling bridge.
It will be located next to the existing Salmon Weir Bridge on the Newtownsmith side. The projected has already secured €3.5 million in funding from the government, which has been allocated under the Designated Urban Centres grant scheme.
Galway City Council lodge an application with An Bord Pleanála on June 25, asking the board to determine whether or not an EIS is required for the project to proceed.
The council submitted a Screening Report with its application, which stated that an EIS was not needed for the project.
In making its decision the board considered that the proposed pedestrian bridge is shorter than 100m length threshold which would mean that an EIS is automatically required under Roads Regulation, 1994.
The board’s inspector also noted that it would not impact on the river’s ecosystem, as no permanent structures are going in the water, though there may be some deterioration of water quality during construction, but that this can be mitigated against.
“It is considered that the proposed development would not be likely to have significant
effects on the environment and that the preparation and submission of an environmental impact assessment report is not, therefore, required,” the Inspector said.