New bridge will be needed at Desertmartin - Forde

Former railway bridge collapsed at Iniscarn Road
Former railway bridge collapsed at Iniscarn Road

Engineers from the Department for Infrastructure have been carrying out a full assessment of damage, following the collapse of an old railway bridge at Inniscarn Road between Desertmartin and Draperstown.

The road is presently closed to motorists and it is expected to remain that way for some days to come.
DUP Councillor for the area, Councillor Anne Forde, said she visited the scene on Tuesday and is of the opinion that a new bridge will be required.
“It would appear from talking to the engineers and others that the heavy rain has washed away the surrounding sandstone causing the structure to slip,” she said. “It is a very old structure used by the Draperstown Railway which was damaged and had received an upgrade recently.
“I would say the road will be closed for a considerable time and that’s not good news for local people, especially the farming community who use it a lot.”
Councillor Forde said fortunately no one had been killed or injured when the bridge collapsed.
SDLP Councillor Christine McFlynn added: “After visiting the scene it’s clear that it is a dangerous situation on a rural road. Whilst it's not a good time for this to happen it is fortunate that it happened in daylight hours as a serious incident could have occurred.
“I have requested an urgent meeting with Infrastructure NI. The road will probably remain closed for some time. I would ask drivers to be patient and avoid using the road until repairs can be carried out.”
The PSNI are advising motorists coming from Draperstown wishing to avoid the Inniscarn Road to go right onto Brackaghlislea Road and then left onto Gortahurk Road.

Councillor Anne Forde believes a new bridge will be needed

Councillor Anne Forde believes a new bridge will be needed