Iconic new bridge opens in Galway

31 May 2023
Credit: Seán Harrington Architects/ Brady Shipman Martin/Arup
  • Seán Harrington Architects/ Brady Shipman Martin/Arup
  • Galway City Council

Seán Harrington Architects/ Brady Shipman Martin/Arup




First structure completed across the River Corrib in over 30 years

The iconic Salmon Weir Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge in Galway has officially opened, creating a focal point for locals and tourists alike to cross the river on foot or by bike, taking in views and enjoying the new public space. The elegant three-span steel arch bridge marks a significant achievement as the first crossing of the River Corrib in over 30 years. 

Working closely with project partners Seán Harrington Architects and Brady Shipman Martin, Tenderstream member Arup provided a comprehensive range of services including structural bridge design, planning, environmental, geotechnical, health and safety and landscape architecture. Robert RyanAssociate, Bridges and Civil Structures, stated: “The Salmon Weir Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge is more than a piece of transport infrastructure; it is an architectural and urban amenity that will become an iconic focal point in Galway City, enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors alike."

Arup was tasked with striking a balance between preserving the existing pedestrian and cycle routes between the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), Galway Cathedral, University Hospital Galway and the city centre, while respecting the historical significance of the existing bridge as a protected structure and one of Galway’s architectural treasures. Spanning 55m, the new structure’s semi-elliptical arch with a steel central spine beam and transparent handrailing creates an illusion of the bridge hovering over the river, offering uninterrupted views of the surrounding landscape, including Galway Cathedral and Mercy Convent.

Speaking about the opening, Brendan McGrath, chief executive of Galway City council, commented, “More than 10,000 pedestrians cross the existing bridge on foot every day, interacting with buses, cars, trucks, and other vehicles. The new bridge offers a seamless alternative, removed from vehicles, with a spectacular view as well as a space to dwell and take in the sounds and atmosphere of the city.”

Beyond the new bridge, Arup is involved in a number of transformative city projects including Galway BusConnects, the Galway Flood Relief Scheme and two similar pedestrian/cycle bridges for the Beamish and Crawford development in Cork.

Lucy Nordberg
Tenderstream Head of Research

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