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.