Campaigners want the Farmleigh Bridge over the River Liffey in Co Dublin to be reopened for walking and cycling — the bridge is located between the Farmleigh estate in Castleknock and Waterstown Park in Palmerstown.
The 52 metre bridge, also known as the Silver Bridge or the Guinness bridge, used to connect the Guinness family estate at Farmleigh to the southside. Campaigners say it has been left derelict for the last 40 years.
Currently there’s no accessible bridge or other route for walking or cycling between the Anna Livia Bridge in Chapelizod Village and Lucan Bridge at Lucan Village — a distance of nearly 9km with large urban areas both north and south of the river. The motorway Westlink Bridge on the M50 is between those two bridges but it is illegal to walk or cycle on it and no parallel route was built when the motorway was construction or upgraded.
The campaign to Rebuild the Silver Bridge is running a petition which currently has over 420 names to it. Explaining why the bridge should be rebuilt, the group said: “There are a number of reasons why it should be repaired. It’s part of Irish heritage and it would be a shame to let it fall into the Liffey one day as the rivets on the lattice structure will need to be replaced as is practice in these structures around the world.”
The group added: “It could serve as an access point for pedestrians to the Phoenix Park from Lucan and Palmerstown residents. It could also be used as an alternative route as part of the Liffey greenway plan. Greenways are part of the governments commitment to National transport plan. Similar successful greenway projects include the Great Western Greenaway in Co Mayo. It would open access to both parks along the Liffey and increase community usage via cycling, walking and running and combat the growing problem of obesity and improve mental health by building resilience via positive pursuits.”
IMAGE: Robert Francis / Rebuild the Silver Bridge