Designed to reduce vehicular traffic in the center of the city, connecting the northern and southern shores of the River Liffey creating an urban axis between the two sectors. Dublin City Council commissioned the Spanish architect of the bridge design in order to make a contribution to the transport infrastructure of the city.
In this regard as the architect Santiago Calatrava “from the beginning, I hoped that the bridge could act as an open invitation linking the northern and southern shores of the River Liffey, both physical and symbolic sense.”
Samuel Beckett Bridge has a structure braced with a single inclined and curved pylon rises 40 meters above sea level. It is designed both aesthetic and functional aspects as the structure rotated 90 degrees horizontally-pivoting on its support in the river, to open and allow passage of ships through the channel of the river Liffey.
From the aesthetic point of view the bridge responds to the will of the architect of past and present merge in his design: “I decided that the bridge had to evoke the image of a harp, a prominent historical symbol of Ireland. Imagining the steel cables like the strings of a harp, could infuse a traditional meaning to modern elements. The result is a functional and aesthetically bridge that pays tribute to Dublin and its people.
The Samuel Beckett completes the connections on the Liffey River, which crosses the Irish capital from west to east, and has 4 lanes for vehicular traffic, a bicycle lane and a pedestrian in every sense, and a platform that can tramway be used in the future. With a length of 124 m width 27, the board is sustained through 31 wires attached to a steel mast.
The bridge was moved from Rotterdan in different pieces and assembled in situ on the main pedestal from which pivots.
This is the second bridge to the architect and engineer, designed for the city of Dublin. With very literary names, Santiago Calatrava (Benimámet, Valencia, 1951), and has two bridges in Dublin. The first, James Joyce was opened in 2003, now the Samuel Beckett Bridge.