The first dedicated pedestrian and cycle bridge over the Liffey, which will be located in Dublin's docklands, will cost in excess of €20 million, Dublin City Council has said.
Plans to link Blood Stoney Road on the south bank with New Wapping Street on the north side of the river, approximately half way between the Samuel Beckett and East Link bridges, will be submitted to An Bord Pleanála in the new year.
The board rejected the council’s plans for a bridge at the same location earlier this year. However, the council said it hopes changes made to the docklands strategic development zone (SDZ), which are under consideration by the board, will lead it to consider the new bridge more positively.
The council had planned to build a €17 million bridge 150m further west connecting the old London and North Western Railway Company station on North Wall Quay to Forbes Street on Sir John Rogerson's Quay south of the river.
The Victorian train station was the planned location of a proposed Dart Underground station for the north docks.
In mid-2016 the council deferred development of the bridge on the request of the National Transport Authority to allow a review of the Dart Underground plans.
The 7.6km rail line, which was to link Heuston Station to the Dart line, with underground stations at the north docks, Pearse Station, St Stephen’s Green, Christ Church and Heuston, was shelved by the Fine Gael-Labour government in 2011. While it re-emerged in the Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2016-2035, the underground was not included in the 10-year National Development Plan published in 2018.
However, as the proposed bridge would run over the reservation strip for the line, the council decided it would be best to move it 150m to the east.
But last January the board refused permission for the relocation. It said it believed the original location was “appropriate” owing to its position on a “clear desire line for pedestrians and cyclists between north and south of the river Liffey”.
In the longer term, the board said the Forbes Street bridge would offer the potential of a direct connection from the south of the river to a “ future Dart Underground commuter rail station” at North Wall Quay.
“The board considered that, notwithstanding the technical and cost arguments put forward in support of relocation, the existing approved position for the Forbes Street bridge would better serve the interests and amenities of the area in the long term, and would accord with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.”
However, councillors were on Monday told changes to the docklands plan would make a positive decision by the board more likely. However, they were also told the cost of the bridge at the new location was expected to exceed €20 million, the threshold that requires the council to undertake a cost benefit analysis. The council still expected to make a fresh application to the board early in the new year and hopes the bridge will open in 2023.