Samuel Beckett Bridge

Coordinates: 53°20′49″N 6°14′29″W / 53.3470°N 6.2413°W / 53.3470; -6.2413
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Samuel Beckett Bridge

Droichead Samuel Beckett
Coordinates53°20′49″N 6°14′29″W / 53.3470°N 6.2413°W / 53.3470; -6.2413
CrossesRiver Liffey
LocaleDublin, Ireland
Total length120 metres (390 ft)[1]
Height48 metres (157 ft)[1]
DesignerSantiago Calatrava
Construction start2007
Opened10 December 2009 (2009-12-10)

Samuel Beckett Bridge (Irish: Droichead Samuel Beckett) is a cable-stayed swingbridge in Dublin, Ireland[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

Architect Santiago Calatrava was the lead designer of the bridge.[2] He was assisted with the civil and structural aspects of the design by Roughan & O'Donovan consulting engineers.[4]

This was the second bridge in the area designed by Calatrava, the first being the James Joyce Bridge, which is further upriver.[5]

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.[6] (The harp being the national symbol for Ireland from as early as the thirteenth century).

The steel structure of the bridge was constructed in Rotterdam by Hollandia,[7] a Dutch company also responsible for the steel fabrication of the London Eye.[8] The steel span of the bridge was transferred from the Hollandia wharf in Krimpen aan den IJssel on 3 May 2009,[7][9] with support from specialist transport company ALE Heavylift.[citation needed]

The bridge, which cost €60 million,[10] is named for Irish writer Samuel Beckett (1906–1989). It was officially opened to pedestrians on 10 December 2009 by Dublin Lord Mayor, Emer Costello[1][11] and to road traffic at 7 am the following day.[10]

The bridge won Engineers Ireland's 'Engineering Project of the Year' in 2010.[4]


The forward curved pylon with 31 cable stays and two back stays

Commentators criticised traffic management restrictions in place around the bridge, saying that with certain turns onto the bridge being blocked, traffic would be diverted into the city centre undermining the bridge's purpose of reducing traffic on the downstream bridges.[12] Unhappiness was also expressed over the fact that these restrictions would force drivers to use the East-Link Toll Bridge. Dublin City Council replied that these restrictions were mandated by An Bord Pleanála to prevent users of the East-Link bridge (outside the city) from coming into the city.

At the time of opening, there was also criticism that no bus services had plans to use the bridge.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Samuel Beckett Bridge opens". Irish Times. 11 December 2009.
  2. ^ a b Samuel Beckett Bridge at Structurae. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "Samuel Beckett Bridge". Dublin City Council. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Roughan & O'Donovan - Projects - Samuel Beckett Bridge". Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  5. ^ "James Joyce Bridge, Dublin". Archiseek. 2010. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  6. ^ "Samuel Beckett Bridge - Design and Engineering". Bridges of Dublin. Dublin City Council. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  7. ^ a b "News - Samuel Beckett bridge awaits tense excursion to Ireland" (in Dutch). 28 April 2009.
  8. ^ "Samuel Beckett Bridge Fact Sheet". Road and Traffic Projects. Dublin City Council. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  9. ^ "Calatrava bridge leaves Rotterdam, on its way to Dublin". 3 May 2009. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011.
  10. ^ a b McBride, Caitlin (11 December 2009). "Beckett bridge is a great relief". Evening Herald. Retrieved 14 December 2009.
  11. ^ "Curtain raised as Samuel Beckett Bridge reaches 'Endgame' on 10th December 2009". Press Release. Dublin City Council. Archived from the original on 20 January 2010.
  12. ^ "Samuel Beckett Bridge". Website of Senator Paschal Donohoe. 12 December 2009. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  13. ^ "New bridge has two bus lanes but no buses". Sunday Tribune. 20 December 2009. Archived from the original on 24 December 2009.