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Social Democrat Councillor Chris Pender has expressed disappointment after a funding application for a second bridge in Newbridge was rejected under the Government’s Urban Regeneration & Development Fund.

Cllr Pender said:

“There is a clear lack of foresight about this important piece of infrastructure and I have written to the Minister to get a better understanding of why the people of South Kildare have been ignored once again. Kildare County Council submitted four projects for consideration and this was the only one that was rejected. I have consistently said that this bridge is needed to make Newbridge a sustainable place to live and work.”

Cllr Pender is seeking an urgent meeting with the Minister and his Department of Housing officials over their rejection of the plan to complete the Southern Relief Road via a second bridge and the completion of the 1km stretch of road between Athgarvan Road and Great Connell Road. According to Cllr Pender, there is significant upset over how the funding has been awarded.

He stated:

“No one is going to begrudge Maynooth, Naas or Celbridge their projects, but to have the only project in South Kildare rejected seems disproportionate and unfair on residents and commuters. We need serious Government investment in Newbridge – this is something I will be saying directly to the Minister if he agrees to my request for a meeting.”

The three successful projects in the URDF allocation for the county are valued at just over €15 million, and all based in North Kildare. The Celbridge to Hazelhatch link road is the largest project at €10.23m, with Naas town being awarded €3.49m for a renewal masterplan and Maynooth town centre renewal receiving €1.9m. Cllr Pender feels that the second bridge for Newbridge should have been prioritised alongside these projects.

He added:

“The theme of this fund was around ‘compact growth’ and it should be a no-brainer to fund this bridge as it would make the traffic and accessibility in and around Newbridge a lot easier to navigate and make it a better place to live and do business. It is really short-sighted and has left a lot of people, including me, with more questions than answers.

“I look forward to receiving a detailed explanation as to why we have been ignored, and to hear other solutions as to how we can further progress this key piece of infrastructure.”

March 18, 2021

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