“All of the options have been assessed and that is the optimal solution”

In the weekend section of the Irish Times, Frank McDonald’s article – “No quick fix to bridge the gap” – on the options for the collapsed Broadmeadow viaduct includes this quote from an anonymous “leading structural engineer”

A leading structural engineer, who does not wish to be named, describes the Broadmeadow viaduct as “not dissimilar to most of the national infrastructure we’ve inherited, like all those masonry arch bridges designed for the horse-and-cart era that are still standing today – even under the weight of Glanbia tankers”.

An earlier Frank McDonald article noted the history of the collapsed viaduct. Meanwhile, the main section of the paper reports that a €4 million reconstruction of the viaduct has already begun..

Yesterday, Iarnród Éireann started bringing rock on site to rebuild the eroded weir. The rock will fill the breach, normalise water flows and protect other adjacent piers. The preparatory work will be followed by piling for platforms to allow for the crane required for the reconstruction work. The adjacent piers will be strengthened and beams will be placed across the two spans. “All of the options have been assessed and that is the optimal solution,” said Iarnród Éireann spokesman Barry Kenny.

Optimal? Would that be optimal in the current financial climate?