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Worth the wait - Maghery bridge opens up Waterways

08 June 2007

A NEW bridge which allows boats to travel between Lough Neagh and the River Blackwater and Ulster Canal has been officially opened at Maghery.

Portadown Times, 08 June 2007

The £427,000 project to re-open the waterway at Maghery Cut took six months to complete but was five years in the planning and completion.

The bridge was the idea of the South Lough Neagh Regeneration Association (SLNRA). It replaces the original bridge - a small, primitive structure used by farmers, but not tall enough for boats to pass under.

The opening ceremony was attended by Craigavon Mayor, Councillor Kenneth Twyble, Deputy Mayor Mary McAlinden, clergy and representatives of local groups, including the regeneration association.

The associationís development officer, Councillor Mary McAlinden, said, "It took a long time and a lot of effort to get the funding in place and there was a lot of consultation between relevant bodies.

"The new bridge is a very strategic project for the area and also for opening up the whole Ulster Canal system in the future.

"Once the canal system is opened, you will be able to travel from Derry to Limerick on the waterways."

Vice-chairman Stanley Trouton said, "This project has made a huge impact on the ground and has the potential to economically regenerate the region through appropriate natural resource tourism and recreation."

Maghery Cut Bridge allows boats to navigate between Lough Neagh and the River Blackwater/Ulster Canal System.

The main funders were the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure and the Department for Regional Development Roads Service. Other funders were Maghery Gaelic Athletic Club, Maghery Rural Enterprise Company and Ulster Garden Villages.

Craigavon Borough Council also transferred a piece of council land to accommodate the construction of the new bridge.

The contractor was Deane Public Works, Fermanagh, and the structural engineers were WDR and RD Taggart.


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