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Displaying items by tag: East Link 30th Anniversary

#[email protected] – Naval Service OPV L.E. Aisling (P23) took the honour of passing through Dublin's East-Link Toll Bridge as the Liffey road crossing celebrated opening to traffic 30 years ago today, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The final of the 'Emer' OPV class built sisters made the transit of the bridge built to a bascule design in which the 'lifting' span of 45 metres wide was raised. The opening span weighing 500 tons is tilted to 80 degrees and taking less than a minute to complete. This allowed the L.E Aisling to continue upriver to berth along Sir John Rogersons Quay.

When the bridge was opened on 21st October 1984, this created a new eastern by-pass of the capital however this was to be an end of era with the withdrawal of the Liffey ferry, albeit a foot-passenger only service.

The ferry was used as short cut mostly for 'dockers' as otherwise the next fixed link bridging the Liffey three decades ago was the Matt Talbot Memorial Bridge. This structure was close to where the last Guinness stout-ships berthed, The Lady Patricia and Miranda Guinness along Sir John Rogersons Quay.

The stout-tankers were the last ships to regularly transit the East-Link Bridge until 1993. They exported the 'black stuff' to Runcorn on the Manchester Ship Canal.

The East-Link Bridge has a strong commuter profile with approximately 17,500 vehicles daily using the bridge connecting the north and south quays. The bridge spanning 150 metres was the vision of Tom Roche (senior) founder of the National Toll Roads, the original operators of the tolled bridge.

Not only is the bridge used by car motorists but notably is a national strategic infrastructure asset for freight trucks to access the port. As the years passed with the opening of the Dublin Port Tunnel, this formed another key part of the overall port related road network and to further alleviate congestion away from the city-centre quays.

Another milestone in the infrastructure of bridging the Liffey was the Samuel Beckett Bridge which ironically itself made a transit through the East-Link Bridge. The structure was loaded on board a barge in The Netherlands and was towed to Dublin Port in 2009 for installation. The Samuel Beckett Bridge is of a swing-bridge design in which the whole bridge pivots on a single pier.

It was in May this year when another of the Naval Service's OPV's the newbuild L.E. Samuel Beckett (P61) moored close to the bridge also bearing the name of the playright as the vessel was christened along the south quays.

For a speeded up footage taken on board from the mast of the newbuild as she headed into Dublin Port and through the East-Link Bridge prior to her naming ceremony, click HERE.

 

Published in Coastal Notes

Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore.

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

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