Monday 3 August 2009

Don't mind the gap, say bridge builders

It looks, to the casual observer, like a bridge too high - now elegantly draped across the Liffey, the Samuel Beckett Bridge appears to tower over the quayside roadway on the southside of the river.

The vertiginous drop of more than a metre from bridge to tarmac on Sir John Rogerson's Quay has some of the few remaining high-flyers in the IFSC wondering if their low-slung sports saloons will survive the trip from docklands to Dalkey.

However, the loftiness of the new bridge, due to be opened next year, is part of a cunning plan and not a monumental blunder, Dublin City Council insists. "The constructed level of the bridge's south abutment is in accordance with its design levels, which specifically allows for sufficient headroom under the bridge to accommodate marine craft on the river" - project manager John Flanagan explained.

He added that the current construction works will introduce a carefully designed gradual incline between the bridge deck level and existing ground levels. That may sound suspiciously like a ramp, but the council are convinced that drivers will not notice the drop when they leave the bridge.

The 120m bridge, which is 48m high, will link Guild Street on the northside with Sir John Rogerson's Quay on the southside - west of Cardiff Lane/Macken Street.

Dr Santiago Calatrava Valls, considered one of the world's great architects, designed the Beckett Bridge. The bridge will have four traffic lanes, cycle tracks and footpaths and can facilitate bus and light rail in the future.

The Irish Independent

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