Sean O’Casey Bridge
Brian O'Halloran & Associates
- Award Type:
Regional Award 2006
- Location: Dublin
The Dublin Docklands Development Authority held an international competition in late 2002 for a new openable pedestrian bridge to the east of the Matt Talbot Bridge on the River Liffey.
This design was selected from over 80 entries received. It proposes a symmetrical structure of twinned cantilevered cradles suggesting a formal maritime gateway to the city. The double swing opening sequence of the bridge should be an appropriate event to compliment the arrival of sea craft into the heart of Dublin.
The structural form of the two main bridge elements is based on a simple balanced cantilevered principle which provides an intrinsically efficient structure for the scale of opening required, resulting in reduced structural mass to create a permeable and dramatic silhouette. The two central opening sections are approximately 44 metres in overall length and each rotates in plan about a central pier to allow a free 33 metre open width. Two profiled cantilever abutments complete the transition with the quay side. The balanced cantilever achieves its support via a cradle, comprised of four tapered steel sections, profiled to allow the flow of maximum load transfer.
The bridge deck is directly supported on continuous longitudinal circular sections and these in turn are supported at their extreme end via cable ties, saddled over the cradle tips and tensioned down to the support pivot.
The operating system for the rotational movement is essentially two hydraulic rams driving a slewing ring arrangement located in the void of the cradle base. The electrical distribution panels, hydraulic motors and pumps are suspended in the zone of the main structure beneath the bridge deck.
Located to the east of the Talbot Memorial Bridge, the Sean O’Casey Bridge provides an important link between the IFSC in north Docklands and the Trinity College / Merrion Square areas.
The opening of this bridge is a hugely significant step in the development of Dublin’s Docklands, creating important linkages between the north and south quays; new and established communities; and districts including Grand Canal Dock, North Lofts and the IFSC.
The construction of the bridge, which arrived in Dublin’s Docklands in April 2005, was a truly international affair, involving a project and construction team of over 100 people to complete the challenging project. Specialist subcontractors and suppliers for various aspects of the project were sourced in England, Poland, France, Germany, Denmark, Slovakia and China.
Dublin’s Docklands is undergoing a period of massive regeneration with widespread and intensive redevelopment along the quays. The Sean O’Casey Bridge adds a new dimension to the river and, along with the other initiatives like the city’s boardwalks and the quayside developments in the Docklands, will encourage people to take advantage of the vastly improved River Liffey environment.