The River Liffey’s first walking and cycling bridge is proposed for the Dublin Docklands, according to a report issued to the Dublin City Council transport committee.
The bridge is slightly east of a previously proposed bridge which ran into panning difficulties due to its possible interactions with a Dart Underground station.
The council state that the bridge is needed includes easing cycling and walking congestion on the nearby bridges and aiding with the transport needs for the area which is still undergoing development.
If approved, the twin opening bridge is to be 125m long and include segregated space for walking and cycling — with a cycle path in the middle of the bridge which 4 metres usable space and footpaths on both sides of a width of 3-2.5 metres each.
The council report said that is proposed to submit the planning application to An Bord Pleanála in early 2020, subject to receiving approval for the amendment to the North Lotts and Grand Canal SDZ Planning Scheme. Assuming the scheme is approved, it is anticipated that construction will start in mid-2021 and will take approximately 18 months to complete.
On the need for the bridge, the council report said: “The nearest existing bridges to the proposed Blood Stoney Bridge are the Samuel Beckett Bridge to the West, and the East Link Bridge to the East. Both of these are primarily vehicular crossings and are already operating at full capacity for pedestrian and cyclists at peak times1.”
It continued: “The SDZ Planning Scheme 2014 contained two new pedestrian bridges across the River Liffey. The original bridge location indicated in the SDZ planning scheme showed a bridge linking Forbes Street to Park Lane. Preliminary studies for a new bridge near Forbes Street commenced in 2015. The North Lotts and Grand Canal SDZ Planning Scheme did not explicitly consider the interaction between the proposed bridge at Forbes Street and planned DART Underground. Proposed Scheme.”
It added: “The preliminary studies identified significant technical and procedural challenges related to constructing a bridge above the proposed Dublin Area Rapid Transit (DART) Underground. A bridge at the Forbes St location would have an unacceptable detrimental effect on the DART Underground project. This has led DCC and the NTA to reject Forbes Street as a viable location for the bridge.”
The new report outlines that the new proposal “Removes all interference with the DART Underground project; Provides a more uniform spacing of river crossing; Eastward shift in desire lines for pedestrian and cyclists due to development of North Docks Area” and that “Traffic modelling figures predict very high usage figures for the Blood Stoney Bridge location.”
Here’s artist’s impressions and other draft images: