New bridge moved successfully


A third attempt to move the new Samuel Beckett Bridge into position on the river Liffey proved successful today following the failure of efforts to move the construction into place in the early hours of this morning.

The bridge made the final leg of its journey to Sir John Rogersons Quay, West of Macken Street this afternoon after Dublin City Council postponed the earlier attempt due to bad weather.

The East Link Toll Bridge, closed to accommodate the moving of the bridge, has now reopened to traffic and the HGV cordon re-instated.

The new bridge will remain moored on a pontoon alongside the south quayside for the next 10-12 days before being placed on its supporting pier in the river.

The Samuel Beckett Bridge, at 120 metres long and 48 metres high, will link Sir John Rogerson’s Quay on the south side of the river Liffey with Guild Street and North Wall Quay on the north side.

Dublin’s newest bridge was designed by Santiago Calatrava, and will be his second bridge in the capital. The James Joyce Bridge, near Heuston Station, opened in 2003.

The new bridge, costing about €60 million, will be capable of rotating through an angle of 90 degrees to facilitate maritime traffic.

It has four traffic lanes, cycle tracks and footpaths.

It arrived on a barge into Dublin Port on Monday morning having charted its way from Rotterdam, across the English Channel and Irish Sea in a week-long journey.

It was constructed for Dublin City Council by an Irish/Dutch joint venture consortium Graham-Hollandia.

The design evokes the image of the Irish harp lying on its side. The bridge is expected to open to traffic in early 2010 following a series of commissioning works.

Dublin city engineer Michael Phillips said the bridge was a stunning piece of design and engineering.

Meanwhile, a second bridge is to open at Dublin's Docklands on Friday.

The 131-foot-long curvy Spencer Dock Bridge will span the Royal Canal at Mayor Street and be open to pedestrians and cyclists.