Roads and Bridges

Part of our remit is to ensure that fish habitats, biodiversity and water quality are never compromised as a result of road construction or bridge building.


Road building schemes have the potential to impact negatively on watercourses in a number of ways if works are not carried out in an environmentally sensitive and sustainable manner.

Our officers have worked with the Transport Infrastructure Ireland (previous known as the National Roads Authority) to contribute to the revised National Road Drainage Design Manual (HD33). Before planning work begins on roads or bridges, local authorities and contractors are instructed to consult our Guidelines on the protection of fisheries during construction works in and adjacent to waters. They must also make contact with the relevant RBD office(s) of Inland Fisheries Ireland.

To minimise disruption to watercourses, and facilitate sustainable development, the Local Authority’s Designers and Contractors must take our requirements for the protection of fish and their habitat into consideration when designing and constructing new roads or improving existing roads, bridges and watercourse crossings. 


Road and bridge guidelines

Key considerations for planners, engineers and those building / maintaining roads

  1. Proximity to rivers, lakes and watercourses
  2. Crossing and diversion of watercourses
  3. Loss of riparian zones and increase in run off and erosion from roads
  4. Pollution or aquatic habitat damage and loss of biodiversity during construction works
  5. Inadequately designed road drainage will increase potential risks to rivers or groundwaters from any spills/run off in operational stages
  6. On new road schemes maintain and highlight existing access for anglers and IFI along watercourses, signposting.

Through detailed consultation between Inland Fisheries Ireland, the local authorities, designers and contractors at scoping, route corridor stage, route selection, EIS scoping, preliminary design, planning, tendering, final design and construction, many of these impacts can be avoided or mitigated.

For a broader list of issues and associated guidance, please see our Guidelines on protection of fisheries during construction works in and adjacent to waters here.