The first work has begun this week on the construction of the new Salmon Weir Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge in the city centre.
The new bridge will draw pedestrians and cyclists and facilitate a seamless and natural flow from either side of the river, in an area that is often plagued by congestion on the old bridge.
Brendan McGrath, Chief Executive of the council, said that this was a “milestone” event in the delivery of an “iconic new bridge” for the city.
“This world-class bridge will remove current conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists, and traffic, and will enhance links between both sides of the river, as well as facilitating the Cross-City Link public transport corridor over the existing 200 year old bridge.”
The 80m pedestrian bridge will involve three spans across three waterways, Persse’s Distillery River (formally called Mill Race), the Lower River Corrib and Friar’s River (formerly called Waterside canal).
The three spans will be roughly 10m, 55m and 15m in length respectively, and upgrade works will also be required to the footpaths on either side of the bridge.
Minister of State and Galway TD Hildegarde Naughton said, “I am delighted to see construction commencing on the Salmon Weir Cycling and Walking Bridge.”
“Anyone who has, like me, walked across the old bridge, will have been conscious that one slip could lead to a collision given how narrow the footpaths are.”
“This new shared-use pedestrian and cycle bridge at the Salmon Weir Bridge will bring a number of significant benefits to Galway City, including offering a dedicated safe crossing point for pedestrians and cyclists alike.”
Planning permission for the new bridge was first granted by An Bord Pleanála in August of last year.
It is expected that construction will finish, and the bridge will open to traffic, by early 2023.