The Woodenbridge, a tourist attraction in south Laois, has officially reopened

The reconstruction of the iconic Wooden Bridge over the Erkina River and the modernization of its sister bridge over the canal section were officially opened on Sunday.

Both began their journey in October and ended with a ribbon cutting by Minister Sean Fleming, surrounded by local councilors and a large gathering of people from near and far on April 14.

The bridge is located in Ballybodin between Durrow and Ballacolla and is a wooden bridge from one side of the River Erkina to the other over the L5638.

Earlier, Michael G. Phelan welcomed the large gathering, which was followed by a blessing by Father Martin Delaney, who wished safe travels to all those traveling both under and over the bridge.

Cllr Oliver Clooney spoke on behalf of the councilors present, including Seamus McDonald, John King and Conor Bergin.

John Hendy brought his 1909 Model T Ford, a car similar to the one used at the original opening of the Woodenbridge in the early 1930s

The evening ended with a drink for everyone.

Laois County Council undertook this project under the direction of Edmond Kenny, who was assisted throughout by Dermot Dunne, James Dunne, Paul McLoughlin, James Dowling, Gerry Hooban and Mark Murphy.

He also received assistance from Services Directors Simon Walton and Donal Brennan, along with County Manager John Mulholland.

Cork construction company Comner carried out the work under the supervision of bridge building experts Ben Kennedy and Liam Leddy.

Throughout the process, this project had the full support and understanding of the local community.

They are now delighted with this iconic tourist attraction, which is reputed to be the only bridge made of solid oak currently crossing public traffic in Ireland.

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