Council STATEMENT : In relation to ongoing works to assess the Castlerock Station Footbridge the following statement is issued by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council to clarify various conflicting and inaccurate media reports that are circulating.
Mann Williams consulting Civil and Structural Engineers were engaged by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council to carry out detailed assessments of the Castlerock Station Footbridge. From completion of those assessments Mann Williams have consistently maintained and documented their view that the bridge is structurally safe and, subject to minor cosmetic maintenance repairs, is suitable for reinstatement. Their assessments included detailed insitu testing and analysis using both traditional assessment and innovative assessment equipment to robustly verify statements made and conclusions reached.
It is the accepted joint view of the council and Mann Williams that an impasse had been reached in seeking the approval of Translink for permission to reinstate the bridge, and that for all involved the matter of technical approval would be reviewed and progressed using alternative means.
Media reporting including statements such as Mann Williams being ‘…unable to guarantee the safety of the bridge’, and that Mann Williams had ‘raised concerns over the bridge's structural integrity during snow or high winds, as well as potential problems if there was overcrowding on the bridge’ are not true and have no basis of fact. Such statements were not made as a conclusion by Mann Williams and they have confirmed and reiterated that they currently remain fully satisfied that the bridge is able to sustain the loads that it would experience in service.
Up to the end of 2021 Mann Williams continued to supply information to justify the continued view of satisfactory structural capacity and to respond to any questions and queries issued by Translink. However, it became clear that differences in approach to technical approval were not going to be overcome and precipitated the impasse situation.
Mann Williams are considered to have provided robust, carefully considered and reasoned assessments of the bridge, drawing on their extensive experience in the assessment of heritage structures, and Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council fully recognise this. There have been no concerns raised at any stage in relation to the quality of service provided by Mann Williams, and their continued view that the bridge is suitable for reinstatement. All parties wish to see the bridge re-instated and efforts will continue to make this happen.
The council consider it important that all media reports are accurate and factual and the objective of this statement is to ensure such a position is achieved.