Droichead na Life
Location of the Ha'penny Bridge in Ireland
|Other name(s)||Liffey Bridge (official), Wellington Bridge (historical)|
|Material||Cast iron (arch), wood (deck)|
|Total length||43 metres (141 ft) with a 3.35 metres (11.0 ft) rise|
|Number of spans||1|
The Ha'penny Bridge (Irish: Droichead na Leathphingine, or Droichead na Life), known later for a time as the Penny Ha'penny Bridge, and officially the Liffey Bridge, is a pedestrian bridge built in 1816 over the River Liffey in Dublin, Ireland. Made of cast iron, the bridge was cast at Coalbrookdale in Shropshire, England.
Originally called the Wellington Bridge (after the Duke of Wellington), the name of the bridge changed to Liffey Bridge. The Liffey Bridge (Irish: Droichead na Life) remains the bridge's official name to this day, although it is still commonly referred to as the Ha'penny Bridge.
Before the Ha'penny Bridge was built there were seven ferries, operated by a William Walsh, across the Liffey. The ferries were in a bad condition and Walsh was informed that he had to either fix them or build a bridge. Walsh chose the latter option and was granted the right to extract a ha'penny toll from anyone crossing it for 100 years. Initially the toll charge was based, not on the cost of construction, but to match the charges levied by the ferries it replaced. A further condition of construction was that, if the citizens of Dublin found the bridge and toll to be "objectionable" within its ﬁrst year of operation, it was to be removed at no cost to the city.
Renovation and maintenance
In 2001 the number of pedestrians using the bridge on a daily basis was 27,000 and, given these traffic levels, a structural survey indicated that renovation was required. The bridge was closed for repair and renovations during 2001 and was reopened in December 2001, sporting its original white colour.
- Official Irish translation by the Placenames Commission
- Ha'penny Bridge at Structurae
- "Project history of Dublin’s River Liffey bridges" Bridge Engineering 156 Issue BE4, Phillips & Hamilton
- Archiseek page on the Ha'penny Bridge
- BBC News - Dublin bridge reopens after 'make-over' - 21 December, 2001
- "Where’s the love? Council removes ‘love padlocks’ from Dublin’s Ha’penny Bridge". thejournal.ie. 2012-01-13. Retrieved 2012-09-24.
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