River Liffey’s first walking and cycling bridge proposed for the Dublin Docklands

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.

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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:

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  1. This is good news and is welcomed. It’s in a reasonable location for commuters moving north – south over the Liffey but who need to go/come from the Sandymount / Blackrock areas. The one thing that will need to be upgraded is the cycle infrastructure on roads leading up to the new bridge on both sides of the Liffey. A lot more people on bikes will obviously be using the roads leading directly to the new bridge once it’s built, and at the moment there’s zero in the way of traffic segregation. The roads are narrow and with a lot more people on bikes, they’ll need to be protected.

    But overall this new bridge looks very positive.

  2. Nice design. Some remarks: the effective width for safe and comfortable cycling on the bridge is less than the designed 4.0 meter. Due to (natural) clearance of cycling along walls 0.625 meter on each side is ‘lost’. This fear of obstacles is explained in all Dutch Cycle Manuals since the very first edition in 1993.The Irish National Cycle Manual (originally inspired by the Dutch edition) even notes 0.65 m for walls, fences, crash barriers; paragraph 1.5.2. Widt calculator.
    Fortunately the shared idea of mixing pedestrians and cyclists and the junctions on both ends of the bridge has not been applied (this time…).
    The positioning of bollards to avoid car traffic entering the bridge is curious. And managing ‘conflicts’ between pedestrians and cyclists (coming from / going to the bridge) with “pedestrian crossing traffic signals with low level cycle signals” is a typical Irish road safety approach and can and will be ignored by both pedestrians and cyclists at that particular spot.


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