1855 – Railway Viaduct, Drogheda, Co. Louth
Built between 1851 and 1855, the Drogheda Railway Viaduct is an impressive feat of engineering – equally impressive from a train as from down below. Until the Viaduct was built passengers had to disembark at Drogheda and make their own way across the Boyne to meet up with the train again at Ballymakenny some six miles outside Drogheda.
William Evans was given the contract to build the Viaduct and was also contracted to build the Newfoundwell bridge and an embankment which he completed. In 1853 the bridge was almost complete except for two piers which were to support the iron lattice portion. The foundations for these piers bankrupted Evans as the muddy bed of the river proved to be quite deep, and the excavations went over budget costs.
James Barton took over the contract and in October 1853 the foundations were laid 43 feet under the water level. The Viaduct’s original cost of £68,000 eventually ran to £123,000. In 1932 the original iron was replaced with steel, at which time the central span was given its curved profile.