Wednesday 29 November 2006

Sean O'Casey Bridge Wins Major International Engineering Award

Sean O'Casey Bridge Wins Major International Engineering Award

Dublin�s newest bridge, the Sean O�Casey Bridge, has won a major international engineering award. The bridge, which was commissioned by the Docklands Authority, won the Best Pedestrian Bridge at the International IStructE Awards run by the UK�s Institute of Structural Engineers.

Opened in mid-2005, the Sean O�Casey Bridge links the north and south Docklands, and has become an instant landmark on the River Liffey. The bridge has even featured in advertisements for O2, the Ryder Cup and, most recently for Guinness.

O�Connor Sutton Cronin, the structural designers of the Sean O�Casey Bridge, won the award for its work on the design of the bridge, which features a pioneering �swing� action that sees the two leaves or arms of the bridge open to allow boats pass up and down the River Liffey. Each �leaf� of the bridge is approximately 44 metres long and 4.5 metres wide and weighs around 160 tonnes. Each bridge leaf is a balanced cantilever and is designed to rotate on a central bearing supported on granite clad piers in the River Liffey. The piers are founded on four piles bored over 12 metres into the bedrock.

�The Sean O�Casey Bridge has not only become an architectural landmark in the Docklands area but has also made a huge difference to how people get around the area with the IFSC being only a five minute walk from Merrion Square now. The addition of the Macken Street Bridge in the next few years will reinforce the importance of these links in the city.� said Paul Maloney, Chief Executive, Docklands Authority.

The judging panel praised the structural solution for the bridge for combining lightness in design to resolve structural forces with efficiency and transparency. �The result is an aesthetic and elegant design,� they said.

The IStructE Structural Awards are one of the world�s most prestigious awards for structural engineering excellence. Run by the Institution of Structural Engineers, the annual awards celebrate the work of the world�s most talented structural designers.

Paul Healy of O�Connor Sutton Cronin said �we are delighted and honoured to have been awarded this prestigious international award from our engineering colleagues. This is a tremendous reflection on the innovative work by the entire design team.�

The architects for the Sean O�Casey Bridge were Brian O�Halloran Associates, project cost consultants, Bruce Shaw and Partners and the contractor, John Mowlem Construction.

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