Samuel Beckett Bridge

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Samuel Beckett Bridge
Droichead Samuel Beckett
The Samuel Beckett Bridge.jpg
Crosses River Liffey
Designer Santiago Calatrava
Total length 120 metres[1]
Height 48 metres[1]
Construction begin 2007
Opened 10 December 2009[1]
Coordinates 53°20′49″N 6°14′29″W / 53.3470°N 6.2413°W / 53.3470; -6.2413Coordinates: 53°20′49″N 6°14′29″W / 53.3470°N 6.2413°W / 53.3470; -6.2413

Samuel Beckett Bridge (Irish: Droichead Samuel Beckett) is a cable-stayed bridge in Dublin[2] that joins Sir John Rogerson's Quay on the south side of the River Liffey to Guild Street and North Wall Quay in the Docklands area.[3]

Design and construction[edit]

The main steel structure arriving by barge, May 2009

The architect is Santiago Calatrava,[2] a designer of a number of innovative bridges and buildings. This is the second bridge in the area designed by Calatrava, the first being the James Joyce Bridge, which is further upstream.[4]

Constructed by a "Graham Hollandia Joint Venture",[3] the main span of the Samuel Beckett Bridge is supported by 31 cable stays from a doubly back-stayed single forward arc tubular tapered spar, with decking provided for four traffic and two pedestrian lanes. It is also capable of opening through an angle of 90 degrees allowing ships to pass through. This is achieved through a rotational mechanism housed in the base of the pylon.[3]

The shape of the spar and its cables is said to evoke an image of a harp lying on its edge.[5] (The harp is a secular icon for Ireland and things Irish.)

The steel structure of the bridge was constructed in Rotterdam by Hollandia,[6] a Dutch company also responsible for the steel fabrication of the London Eye.[5] The steel span of the bridge was transferred from the Hollandia wharf in Krimpen aan den IJssel on May 3rd, 2009,[6][7] with support from specialist transport company ALE Heavylift.[citation needed]

The bridge, which cost €60 million,[8] is named for Irish writer Samuel Beckett, was officially opened to pedestrians on 10 December 2009 by Dublin Lord Mayor, Emer Costello[9][10] and to road traffic at 7 am the following day.[8]


Since launch, both the location of the bridge and the traffic management provisions in place have attracted criticism;[11] with commentators noting that improvements could be made,[12] and that traffic management restrictions that prevent certain turns onto the bridge, are designed to force drivers to use the East-Link Toll Bridge.

See also[edit]