MINANE Bridge was closed yesterday for structural assessments after a truck overturned on black ice and caused significant damage to the road surface and bridge wall.
Four other single vehicle collisions were reported in the same area during a morning when black ice caused chaos across the county.
Around 60 feet of the wall at Minane Bridge was destroyed and fell into the river below after the truck, believed to weigh approximately 30 tonnes, overturned and collided with it at around 8.30am yesterday morning. The driver of the truck escaped without serious injury.
Fire services from Crosshaven had difficulty making the journey to the crash due to the icy conditions, with station officer Barry Fitzgibbon confirming they skidded in places.
“Conditions were treacherous and on the way to the accident, our fire engine skidded and slid in places along the road,” said Mr Fitzgibbon.
“We had to take our time getting to incidents because of the lethal conditions.
“It rained at around 5am and it froze on impact, leading to very dangerous black ice,” he explained.
“Some roads were like skating rinks,” he added.
The bridge has since re-opened following a safety assessment.
Four further collisions around the Minane Bridge area were also reported, with the black ice causing cars to skid into the grounds of the nearby Sacred Heart Church.
“Three cars skidded and ended up near the church,” said Mr Fitzgibbon. “Another car also skidded and was sliding through the car park next to the church where it hit a tree. If it hadn’t hit the tree it would’ve ended up in the river,” he added.
Icy conditions wreaked havoc, with more than 20 incidents reported across the city and county.
The gritting of Cork roads is an issue which needs to be resolved to prevent further accidents, according to Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard.
“Gritting has been an issue for a long time,” he said. “We can’t leave it go any longer without having proper measures in place to ensure our roads are safe enough to travel on.”
Senator Lombard added: “The driver of the truck got an awful fright. It was pure black ice, nobody saw it or knew where it was but the damage it caused is frightening.
“There’s a very steep hill coming down into the village, any kind of weather that leads to ice or frost, makes it treacherous so that needs to be gritted,” he added.
The bridge reopened to traffic yesterday evening following a structural inspection.