The challenges of building a new bridge across the Avonmore River in County Wicklow.

Three bridges have already spanned the river Avonmore valley at this point. The first of them a wooden structure called The Wood Stick was swept away by flood waters and later concrete crossings fared just as badly.

John Kelly Vice Chairman of the Avonmore Anglers Club recalls how his father worked on the previous concrete bridge constructions in the 1940s. The first was swept away and the second lasted until 1965 when it succumbed to flood damage.

No chances are being taken with the latest structure. The bridge is being built using five and a half tonnes of steel, 30 cubic metres of concrete and five tonnes of local timber.

One of those involved in the project is local artist Terry Willers of 'Hall's Pictorial Weekly' fame. Engineer David Fitzgerald built the model for the new bridge and is overseeing its construction. He describes some of the challenges the builders are facing in constructing the bridge such as road access and water levels.

The greatest problem is getting the materials down as far as the bridge itself.

The project is sponsored by AnCO Community, Youth Training. Christy Quinn of AnCO says that the project is designed to provide skills training to first time job seekers.

The project was initially proposed by the local community along with the Avonmore Anglers Club, which will benefit greatly from the new bridge. However, the construction of the bridge comes at a price. Christy Bolton treasurer of the Avonmore Anglers Club outlines some of the costs which could be as much as £12,000. Much of the initial funding came from private donations from the local business community. The project also received grant aid from Wicklow County Council. In addition, the club ran local fundraising activities.

By April of next year, the Avonmore will have a new bridge.

The bridge is due to be completed by April 1986. Councillor Joe Jacob of Wicklow County Council believes that the bridge will enhance the beauty of the local area and provide a whole new amenity for locals and tourists.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 20 November 1985. The reporter is Colm Connolly.