New bridge with cycle lanes links Cabra and Finglas, and removes road crossing on Royal Canal route

IMAGE ABOVE: A view from the top of the bridge: Thanks to David Rouse

A new €9.8m bridge opened today over the Royal Canal and the Maynooth railway line should give people cycling between Cabra and Finglas their own space and will also allow for the Dublin to Galway greenway route.

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The bridge replaces the now-closed Reilly’s Level Crossing which was on a narrow bendy section of road. It was described by Irish Rail as “one of the busiest manually operated rail level crossings” on the national rail network.

The opening will mean that the towpath route along the Royal Canal — which will eventually form part of the Dublin to Galway greenway — will no longer have to cross a heavily trafficked road on a bend. There is also a ramped access point to the canal from the north west side of the bridge.

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Ratoath Road bridge map
Location of the bridge shown in red

An Irish Rail spokesman said in a statement on the company’s website: “The new bridge will, in tandem with other planned projects, allow for future increased capacity on the busy Maynooth to Dublin rail line for train services. It will immediately eliminate major road congestion at the crossing, with 107 trains passing through the level crossing each day, including up to 55 services at peak times causing constant traffic queues while the gates are closed. These vehicles will now use a modern bridge over the rail line with capacity for all users in the area.”

The company added: “The road will also provide a much needed improvement to pedestrian and cycle facilities along this section of the Ratoath Road.”

The Maynooth railway line is planned — as part of the wider Dart Underground project — to be upgraded to handle Dart trains, powered by overhead wires. A number of level crossing on the route are planned to be closed.

The bridge was built by Irish Rail and Dublin City Council, with funding from the National Transport Authority.

IMAGE BELOW: A view of the bridge from the Cabra side:

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