HIGH WINDS delayed attempts to move the new Samuel Beckett Bridge down the river Liffey last night, after it arrived from the Netherlands earlier yesterday.
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.
It had been due to be floated down the river at 2am, weather permitting. A decision was made at 8pm to defer the plan until the winds subsided.
A Dublin City Council spokesman said it was a case of “wait and see”. If winds were sufficiently low tonight the bridge would be moved, he said.
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 yesterday 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.
After it travels through the Eastlink Bridge, it will be moored on a pontoon alongside the south quayside for the next few weeks before being placed on its supporting pier in the river.
Dublin city engineer Michael Phillips said the bridge was a stunning piece of design and engineering.