Turtle Bunbury

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Dublin Docklands - An Urban Voyage’is a work in progress, commissioned by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority, and due to be completed in the autumn of 2008. The following tale represents research undertaken for the project which may or may not be used in the final book.


Connection: Macken Street – Guild Street.

Commissioner: Dublin City Council.

Architect: Santiago Calatrava.

Contractor: Graham (Belfast) Hollandia (Rotterdam) Joint Venture.[1]

Completion Scheduled: 2010.

Plans for a bridge across the Liffey from Cardiff’s Lane on the south-side to Guild Street on the north-side have been in motion at least since the 1939 proposal by Abercrombie, Kelly & Robertson. With the ongoing success of the Docklands during the 1990s, so came increasing demand for a new Liffey crossing at Macken Street, halfway between the Sean O’Casey pedestrian bridge and the East Link.

Dublin City Council subsequently commissioned world-renowned Catalan architect Santiago Calatrava Valls to create the new bridge. It is the Zurich-based designers second bridge on the Liffey; he built the James Joyce Bridge. His others projects include the Chicago Spire for Dublin businessman Garrett Kelleher and the future train station - World Trade Centre Transportation Hub - at Ground Zero in New York City.

The 120 metre bridge will be cable-stayed, with a curved, inclined steel pylon. This pylon houses a rotation mechanism that allows the structure to open for maritime traffic. The bridge will have four traffic lanes with cycle tracks and footpaths on either side of the bridge. This will go a long way to opening up the Spencer Dock area. This landmark structure, of unique character, will have a curved profile leaning northwards resulting in a dramatic shape giving the appearance of a harp lying on it’s side.

The total cost of the project is estimated at €47 million, which will also include a major upgrade of the approach roads. The bridge is expected to be completed by 2009.

The bridge is named for the Dublin-born playwright Samuel Beckett.

[1] Graham Construction have carried out a number of major projects including Taney Bridge in Dundrum while Hollandia have completed a number of high profile works including London Eye.



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