Foyle Bridge safety system to be installed

A new warning system is to be put into place on the Foyle Bridge in Londonderry during high winds.

Regional Development Minister David Cairns said: “Roads Service is about to start installing a series of variable message signs strategically placed across the City. This will warn drivers when there are high winds on the Foyle Bridge and advise of alternative routes.”

The Roads Service decided to review the procedure for the closure of the bridge during high winds following the tragic accident last year when a heavy goods vehicle crashed through the safety barrier during a period of high winds, resulting in the death of lorry driver Peter McGuinness.

While an independent review into the accident found the procedures in place at the time to be satisfactory, the review did make a number of recommendations that are being implemented in full by Roads Service.

At present, when wind speeds reach the first trigger level of 30mph, signs on the bridge will display an advisory speed limit of 30mph.

If they increase to the second trigger level of 40mph, signs on the bridge approaches will direct high-sided vehicles to use the Craigavon Bridge.

Finally, when the wind speed exceeds 50mph the Foyle Bridge will be closed to all vehicles.

These restrictions should lead to a significantly enhanced safety margin for all traffic using the bridge in high winds.

The Minister continued: “I am pleased to announce that the erection of more variable message signs to facilitate the introduction of the new Bridge Management System is about to commence. The first phase of the signs, which introduce an advisory speed limit on the bridge, were installed before last winter.

The new system, costing £800,000, will have the capacity of automatically receiving information from the wind monitoring equipment on the bridge and displaying appropriate warnings and instructions on the variable message signs.”

Installation of the new system is due to begin immediately, with the commissioning and testing of the new Bridge Management System due to be completed over the summer in readiness for next winter.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

29 November 2021
Overhead Road Signs To Display Public Health Messages
Overhead road signs on key strategic routes will display public health messages to support the ongoing fight against Covid-19, Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has announced. Minister Mallon said: "Keeping people safe is my number one priority and I am committed to doing all that I can to help in the fight against COVID-19.
12 January 2005
Bridge experts to investigate lorry death plunge
A leading bridge consultancy firm has been called in to investigate the circumstances surrounding the fatal accident in which a lorry plunged 150 feet from the deck of the Foyle Bridge in Londonderry on Tuesday.
26 May 2021
Toddler Dies In Tragic Accident In Aghalee
An investigation has launched after a three-year-old boy died following an accident involving a car near his home in Co Armagh. The collision occurred on the Boghead Bridge Road, Aghalee, just outside Lurgan on Tuesday, 25 May. The toddler was treated at the scene before being taken to Craigavon Area Hospital.
24 October 2005
Safety improvements on Foyle Bridge announced
Additional safety measures are to be put in place on the Foyle Bridge in Londonderry, the Roads Service announced today. The move will see "two high specification variable message signs" on the approaches to the bridge at a cost of £300,000.
27 June 2011
Foyle Footway 'A Bridge To Peace'
Londonderry's new 'Peace Bridge' has been celebrated with a weekend of festivities marking the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday. While it is six months behind the original schedule for completion, the £14m cycle and footbridge remains one of the biggest projects undertaken in the area in years.