Ministry opposed to Strabane bridge plan (1959)
Reporting on the interview with the Ministry of Commerce regarding the proposal to build a new bridge over the River Mourne to relieve traffic congestion the chairman (Dr C Sullivan), told Strabane Urban Council during this week in 1959 that the ministry’s engineers were not in favour of a bridge on the following grounds:
“The necessity of having a steep ascent to the centre of the bridge on the north side owing to the need for taking the road across at a sufficient level to clear the Mourne in full flood; the creation of a crossroads at the junction with Castle Street, with the resultant traffic problems; the fact that a new bridge erected would still carry a trunk road on a line which would have several ‘wriggles’ and through the new housing estates on both sides of Melmount Road.”
On the question of the creation of a trunk road by-passing completely the built-up area of the town, the ministry felt that this would be “the ultimate requirement in Strabane”, but that “traffic figures at present in our possession would not justify the start of this work at the moment”.
Dealing with a third proposal from the deputation to widen the approaches to the bridge on the north side of the river, the ministry said that it felt that “they were prepared to consider meeting in full” the expenditure incurred in the acquisition of necessary buildings and the creation of “such works as would be necessary” for carrying out the improvement.
It had been arranged that officials of the ministry should visit Strabane in order to re-examine the position at first hand, and a further report was to be received by the council.