Tuesday 12 February 2008

New public transport bridge over Liffey agreed

Dublin City Council plans to build a new Luas and public transport bridge across the river Liffey from Marlborough Street to Hawkins Street, even though the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) has yet to determine the route of the proposed Luas line.

The current city development plan allows for the construction of a footbridge at the site. South-east area councillors yesterday approved a council management proposal to seek a change to the development plan to allow the construction of the new bridge from Eden Quay to Burgh Quay.

The council is proposing to build a bridge to accommodate a southbound Luas line as well as two bus lanes, two cycle lanes and two footpaths, and hopes soon to seek tenders for its design. The council said it was seeking a "low-key design" to fit in with the surrounding architecture.

However, while the council is pressing ahead with its plans for the bridge, the RPA has yet to say whether this will be the route for the new Luas BX line, which will connect the Red and Green Luas lines across the city centre.

The RPA last year did identify its preferred option as a line from St Stephen's Green to College Green, down Westmoreland Street and across O'Connell Bridge, down O'Connell Street and back up Marlborough Street to cross a new bridge; however, it has not confirmed this as the route.

The council said even if the bridge was not chosen for the Luas route, it would build it anyway.

The bridge would ultimately be for public transport; however, councillors were told yesterday that the bridge would serve to ease the inevitable gridlock in the centre when metro and Luas works begin across O'Connell Bridge. During this construction, Westmoreland Street is likely to be closed and the new bridge would temporarily be permitted to carry cross-town traffic.

The proposal will now go before the full council for ratification.

The Irish Times


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