Wednesday 6 May 2009

New Liffey bridge gets underway

The main structure of the new Samuel Beckett bridge has left Rotterdam on its way to Dublin.

The cable-stayed bridge is to join Macken Street on the south side of the River Liffey to Guild Street and North Wall Quay in the Docklands area.

The architect is Santiago Calatrava Valls, who also designed the James Joyce bridge, which is further upstream.

Constructed by the Graham Hollandia Joint Venture, the main span of the bridge is supported by cable stays from a doubly back-stayed single forward arc tubular tapered spar, with decking providing for four traffic and two pedestrian lanes.

It will also be capable of opening through an angle of 90 degrees - allowing ships to pass through.

The shape of the spar and its cables is said to evoke an image of a harp lying on its edge.

The bridge is expected to open early in 2010. The total cost of the project is estimated at just under €60m, which will also include a major upgrade of the approach roads.

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