News

Arup launches online hub for Galway’s new pedestrian bridge

Clare O'Loughlin Clare O'Loughlin Europe Press Office, Ireland
1 July 2020

Arup has worked with Galway City Council to launch a virtual information session for the new Salmon Weir Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge in Galway. The virtual exhibition room will allow members of the public to learn more and provide feedback on the proposed bridge, a critical piece of public infrastructure designed to enhance sustainable travel in the city.

Consulting and obtaining feedback from residents and local businesses is vital to ensure that the river crossing meets current and future transport needs. Responding to COVID-19 restrictions, and as part of non-statutory public information sharing on the project, Arup’s design team developed an interactive 360-degree virtual exhibition hall using the firm's proprietary Virtual Engage tool.

Screenshot of the online exhibition room, showing people sitting on chairs and looking at boards and videos about the project. Screenshot of the online exhibition room, showing people sitting on chairs and looking at boards and videos about the project.

Visitors arriving to the online hub are taken on a virtual fly-through of the bridge and offered access to a wealth of project documents, including architectural renders and engineering drawings. A questionnaire, available in English and Irish, gives visitors to the virtual exhibition room a chance to provide feedback on the bridge’s design.

We are excited to share information about this bridge through this virtual exhibition - an online tool that allows residents to engage with projects despite COVID restrictions. We've worked collaboratively, weaving in feedback to optimise the design, including the widening of the bridge deck after consulting with local cycling groups. The virtual fly-through gives a fantastic sense of how this new river crossing will integrate with its surroundings in this beautiful, protected area of Galway. ” Robert Ryan Robert Ryan Associate, Bridges and Civil Structures

Lead design consultant, Arup, and Seán Harrington Architects developed a slender design, sensitive to its surroundings, which include several historical buildings, Galway Cathedral, the existing Salmon Weir Bridge – a protected structure and one of Galway’s architectural heritage treasures – as well as local wildlife.

Spanning three separate watercourses (Persse’s Distillery River, River Corrib and Friar’s River Canal), the slender, 85-metre long shallow arch has been designed to facilitate a seamless, natural flow from either side of the river. Flared approach spans integrate the bridge with the quays on either side, drawing pedestrians and cyclists towards the river crossing and enabling an elegant, low-key main span.

With up to 9,000 pedestrians using the existing Salmon Weir Bridge daily, this dedicated pedestrian and cycle crossing will free up space on the existing road bridge, improving safety and accessibility.

The bridge will also provide a new public space for leisure and a focal point for tourists, creating a pleasant link from the Cathedral – a key tourist attraction – to the city centre, with space to sit and watch the world go by. The new river crossing is a key element of the Galway Transport Strategy, which seeks to introduce a more sustainable transport system and make the city more accessible.

This project is expected to be submitted for approval to An Bord Pleanála this summer, with the aim of completing and opening the new bridge in 2022. 

For further information or to give feedback on the bridge, please visit the virtual exhibition room.

Architectural render showing people crossing the new Salmon Weir Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge. Architectural render showing people crossing the new Salmon Weir Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge.

The proposed bridge will provide a new public space for leisure and a focal point for tourists, creating a pleasant link from the Cathedral to Galway city centre.