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Sod Turned on River Corrib's New Bridge for Cyclists and Pedestrians in Galway city

25th April 2022
Celebrating the milestone ‘sod turning’ of the Salmon Weir Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge were (L to R) Colm Ó Ríordáin, Senior Executive Engineer, Galway City Council, Patrick Greene, Director of Services, Galway City Council, Uinsinn Finn, Senior Engineer, Galway City Council; Brendan McGrath, Chief Executive of Galway City Council; John Pentony, Jons Civil Engineering Company; Minister of State, Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton, TD; Kealan Bolton, Jons Civil Engineering Company; Mayor of Galway City, Councillor Colette Connolly; John Rooney, National Transport Authority; Martin Jennings, Atkins Ireland; and David Minton, Director, NWRA
Celebrating the milestone ‘sod turning’ of the Salmon Weir Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge were (L to R) Colm Ó Ríordáin, Senior Executive Engineer, Galway City Council, Patrick Greene, Director of Services, Galway City Council, Uinsinn Finn, Senior Engineer, Galway City Council; Brendan McGrath, Chief Executive of Galway City Council; John Pentony, Jons Civil Engineering Company; Minister of State, Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton, TD; Kealan Bolton, Jons Civil Engineering Company; Mayor of Galway City, Councillor Colette Connolly; John Rooney, National Transport Authority; Martin Jennings, Atkins Ireland; and David Minton, Director, NWRA

The first sod has been turned on constructing a new pedestrian and cycleway across the river Corrib – the first new bridge over the Atlantic coast river in over 30 years.

The new Salmon Weir crossing will “draw pedestrians and cyclists and facilitate a seamless and natural flow from either side of the river, while creating an iconic focal point for locals and tourists alike”, according to Galway City Council.

The project is funded by the European Commission through the European Regional Development Fund, and the National Transport Authority.

“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,” Galway city council chief executive Brendan McGrath said.

Minister of State for Transport and Galway West TD Hildegarde Naughton also welcomed the construction.

“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,” she said.

“ 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,” Ms Naughton said.

“This is one of over 1,200 projects across the length and breadth of the country to receive targeted funding towards making walking and cycling in our villages, towns and cities safer, more sustainable and enjoyable,” she added.

Planning consent for the new bridge was approved by An Bord Pleanála on August 16th last year, and the construction tender was issued in December.

A contractor was appointed in March of this year, and some advance works, including tree felling, took place before the end of February. Galway City Council anticipates the bridge will be “substantially completed by early 2023”.

Lorna Siggins

About The Author

Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004) on Irish helicopter search and rescue; and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010).

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Galway Port & Harbour

Galway Bay is a large bay on the west coast of Ireland, between County Galway in the province of Connacht to the north and the Burren in County Clare in the province of Munster to the south. Galway city and port is located on the northeast side of the bay. The bay is about 50 kilometres (31 miles) long and from 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) to 30 kilometres (19 miles) in breadth.

The Aran Islands are to the west across the entrance and there are numerous small islands within the bay.

Galway Port FAQs

Galway was founded in the 13th century by the de Burgo family, and became an important seaport with sailing ships bearing wine imports and exports of fish, hides and wool.

Not as old as previously thought. Galway bay was once a series of lagoons, known as Loch Lurgan, plied by people in log canoes. Ancient tree stumps exposed by storms in 2010 have been dated back about 7,500 years.

It is about 660,000 tonnes as it is a tidal port.

Capt Brian Sheridan, who succeeded his late father, Capt Frank Sheridan

The dock gates open approximately two hours before high water and close at high water subject to ship movements on each tide.

The typical ship sizes are in the region of 4,000 to 6,000 tonnes

Turbines for about 14 wind projects have been imported in recent years, but the tonnage of these cargoes is light. A European industry report calculates that each turbine generates €10 million in locally generated revenue during construction and logistics/transport.

Yes, Iceland has selected Galway as European landing location for international telecommunications cables. Farice, a company wholly owned by the Icelandic Government, currently owns and operates two submarine cables linking Iceland to Northern Europe.

It is "very much a live project", Harbourmaster Capt Sheridan says, and the Port of Galway board is "awaiting the outcome of a Bord Pleanála determination", he says.

90% of the scrap steel is exported to Spain with the balance being shipped to Portugal. Since the pandemic, scrap steel is shipped to the Liverpool where it is either transhipped to larger ships bound for China.

It might look like silage, but in fact, its bales domestic and municipal waste, exported to Denmark where the waste is incinerated, and the heat is used in district heating of homes and schools. It is called RDF or Refuse Derived Fuel and has been exported out of Galway since 2013.

The new ferry is arriving at Galway Bay onboard the cargo ship SVENJA. The vessel is currently on passage to Belem, Brazil before making her way across the Atlantic to Galway.

Two Volvo round world races have selected Galway for the prestigious yacht race route. Some 10,000 people welcomed the boats in during its first stopover in 2009, when a festival was marked by stunning weather. It was also selected for the race finish in 2012. The Volvo has changed its name and is now known as the "Ocean Race". Capt Sheridan says that once port expansion and the re-urbanisation of the docklands is complete, the port will welcome the "ocean race, Clipper race, Tall Ships race, Small Ships Regatta and maybe the America's Cup right into the city centre...".

The pandemic was the reason why Seafest did not go ahead in Cork in 2020. Galway will welcome Seafest back after it calls to Waterford and Limerick, thus having been to all the Port cities.

© Afloat 2020

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