Commissioned by Dublin City Council, the Samuel Beckett Bridge (formerly Macken Street Bridge) is one of the two bridges designed by Calatrava, the other being the James Joyce Bridge completed in 2003. The Samuel Beckett Bridge serves as the continuation of an existing street whilst creating a necessary link in the urban axis between Macken Street/Cardiff Lane and Guild Street. This cable-stayed balanced bridge with two unequal spans provides vehicular traffic and pedestrians access crossing the Liffey River. It is also designed to a 90-degree horizontal rotation to free the river channel for water transport crossing the river. The bridge is 124-meter (407 feet) long and 27-meter (89 feet) wide with a single inclined curved pylon in the center, tipped at 46 meters (151 feet) above sea level.
The bridge's slender design answers both aesthetic and functional issues. The steel superstructure is supported by two abutments and an intermediate pier in concrete. Founded directly upon the limestone bedrock, the intermediate pier contains the bridge's rotation mechanisms and a large portion of the total load is transferred to the terrain. Serving as structural support, the pier emerges from the water to sustain the deck and the base of the pylon, and is located only 28 meters (92 feet) from the south abutment. The deck has four vehicular traffic lanes, two 1.5-meter (4.9 feet) wide bicycle tracks and two three-meter (9.8 feet) wide pedestrain lanes. Two of the four vehicular traffic lanes can be developed as tram lanes in the future. The deck has a maximum level at 5.6 meters (18.4 feet) above sea level.
The bridge's cross-section is a box with a bottom shaped like a circular arc. Cross girders cantilever out on both sides of the box including the parapet, where the stays are anchored, creating the cycle and pedestrian area. The Contractor is Graham Hollandia Joint Venture and the bridge was offically opened in early 2010.
1998 - 2009
Samuel Beckett Bridge
- British Construction Industry (BCI) Awards 2011
- National Steel Prize 2010 of the Netherlands
- Engineering Project of the Year in the 2010 Engineers Ireland