'Endgame' nears as Beckett's Maritime Gateway arrives in Dublin

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'Endgame' nears as Beckett's Maritime Gateway arrived in Dublin today

Monday the 11th May 2009

The Dublin City Council commissioned Samuel Beckett Bridge (measuring 120 metres long; 48 metres high) arrived on a barge into Dublin Port  this morning, having charted its way across the English Channel and Irish Sea. The superstructure began its odyssey at Graham-Hollandia JV Shipyard in Rotterdam on Monday 4th May. Weather Permitting, it will travel through the Eastlink Bridge during high tide tomorrow morning(Tuesday the 12th) at 2am and will be secured adjacent to the south quayside for a number of weeks before being placed on its supporting pier in the river.

Due to open in early 2010 following finishing and commissioning works, it will link Guild Street on the northside of the City with Sir John Rogerson’s Quay on the southside - west of Cardiff Lane / Macken Street.

Construction began on the steel bridge superstructure in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in May 2007, concurrently with the associated civil and marine works on site in Dublin.  As part of the civil and marine works, a reinforced concrete support pier has been cast in the river Liffey along with abutments behind the quay walls. The abutments and pier rest on piles up to 20 metres in length, which were bored into the limestone rock underneath the riverbed.

Dr. Santiago Calatrava Valls, one of the world’s great architects and engineers, designed the Samuel Beckett Bridge. Dublin is now a member of an exclusive list of cities that are home to two Calatrava-designed bridges, the James Joyce Bridge having opened in 2003.
According to Lord Mayor Eibhlin Byrne, “When the bridge opens next year it will reduce the number of cars in the City centre, facilitating public transport, cycle and pedestrian movements.  The bridge will have four traffic lanes, cycle tracks and footpaths, and can facilitate bus and light rail in the future.  The bridge is a valuable addition to Dublin’s traffic infrastructure in its own right and also enhances other measures Dublin City Council has taken to offer commuters greater choices in recent years.”

The bridge’s design is something that City Engineer Michael Phillips believes will impress Dubliners and visitors. “The bridge is a stunning piece of design and engineering. It’s a cable-stayed bridge – a concept which anyone that has seen the Luas Bridge in Dundrum will be familiar with. This gives it a graceful, almost weightless appearance. Its position across the Liffey at Dublin’s maritime gateway sends a confident, forward-looking statement about today’s Dublin.

Over half of the €59.95m project cost was met by Dublin City Council, with the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government and Dublin Docklands Development Authority co-funding the remainder.



For more information

Dublin City Council Press Office, T. 222 2170, M. 086 815 0010, E. info@dublincity.ie

Notes to the Editor

On its arrival in Dublin, a high tide is necessary to enable the structure to pass through a pinch point at the East Link Toll Bridge.

  • The Samuel Beckett Bridge will be positioned between the Sean O’Casey Bridge and the East Link Bridge
  • The Samuel Beckett Bridge was named in 2006 the centenary of Beckett’s birth. Dublin’s other Calatrava bridge is the James Joyce Bridge, on Dublin’s quays towards Heuston Station.
  • The bridge will be capable of rotating through an angle of 90 degrees between an open and closed position to facilitate maritime traffic. The rotational mechanism housed in the base of the pylon will be linked to a bridge control building on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay.

The bridge will be a cable-stayed steel box girder structure with a span of 120 metres between north and south quay walls.  An asymmetric shape will be provided through the positioning of the pylon at a point approximately 28 metres from the south quay. The steel cable-stay pylon will have a curved shape leaning northwards to a point 48 metres above water level.

Graham-Hollandia constructed Beckett Bridge in a Joint Venture.  Graham Construction has previously carried out a number of major projects including the William Dargan Luas Bridge in Dundrum.  Hollandia has completed a number of high profile projects including London’s Eye.

An Environmental Impact Statement prepared on the project at its outset highlighted the benefits of the bridge in that it will:

  • Facilitate the regeneration of the north and south docklands.
  • Provide an important pedestrian and cycle crossing facility.
  • Accommodate bus priority and any future Luas line across the Liffey.
  • Facilitate the implementation of the network of environmental traffic cells in Dublin City centre.
  • Improve traffic circulation generally in the City centre, leading to improved journey times for bus services.