The Salmon Weir Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge in Galway City has officially opened. This elegant three-span steel arch bridge marks a significant achievement as the first crossing of the River Corrib in over 30 years.

Spanning 55m, the bridge’s semi-elliptical arch with a steel central spine beam and transparent handrailing creates an illusion of the bridge hovering over the river, offering uninterrupted views of the surrounding landscape, including Galway Cathedral, Mercy Convent and the existing Salmon Weir Bridge.

Working closely with project partners Seán Harrington Architects and Brady Shipman Martin, Arup provided a comprehensive range of services including structural bridge design, planning, environmental, geotechnical, health and safety and landscape architecture.

Arup was tasked with striking a balance between preserving the existing pedestrian and cycle routes between the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), Galway Cathedral, University Hospital Galway and the city centre, while respecting the historical significance of the existing Salmon Weir Bridge as a protected structure and one of Galway’s architectural treasures.

By providing a dedicated and user-friendly bridge, the number of pedestrians and cyclists using the existing Salmon Weir Bridge will be reduced, improving safety for all users and allowing for future reconfiguration of the existing bridge use as part of the wider Galway Transport Strategy.

In 2020, during the COVID-19 restrictions, Arup showcased an innovative approach to the Salmon Weir Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge public consultation using Virtual Engage, a web-based, interactive environment that allows stakeholders to access information from any location and at any time.

Beyond the Salmon Weir Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge, Arup is involved in a number of transformative city projects including Galway BusConnects, the Galway Flood Relief Scheme and two similar pedestrian/cycle bridges for the Beamish and Crawford development in Cork.

The Salmon Weir Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge is more than a piece of transport infrastructure; it is an architectural and urban amenity that will become an iconic focal point in Galway City, enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.

Robert Ryan

Associate Director, Arup