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New Suspension Bridge for NUI Galway Campus

Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2012


A new suspension bridge, crossing the Eglington Canal on the NUIG Campus in Galway, has been opened by the  new Mayor of Galway city, Cllr Terry O’Flaherty and Keith Warnock, Vice-President for Capital Projects at NUI Galway. Landscape architects Mitchell & Associates worked on the area where the bridge now meets the campus, while the consulting engineers and contractors were Ryan Hanley and L&M Keating. The structural steelwork for the bridge was manufactured in Galway by Pat Rynn (Engineering) Ltd. The 50-metre O'Shaughnessy Bridge is designed for use by both pedestrians and cyclists as part of a wider scheme to encourage sustainable travel in Galway City.

Speaking at the launch, Mayor O’Flaherty said: “This joint initiative between Galway Transportation Unit and NUI Galway is a credit to all involved. In particular this bridge plays a significant role in the increase in walking and cycling in the City by providing a high quality channel by which pedestrians and cyclists alike can avail. It offers potential to reduce car dependency in key areas of the City by offering commuters and pedestrian travel options.”

The project consisted of the design and construction of two bridges, the main one spanning the Eglinton Canal and a smaller one spanning a nearby mill race. It is part of the Smarter Travel initiative and provides a vital link between Fisheries Field and the NUI Galway Campus. The project was promoted on a partnership basis by NUI Galway and Galway City Council.

Michael O'Shaughnessy (1864-1934), whom the bridge is named after, graduated in Civil Engineering from NUI Galway (then Queen's College Galway) in 1884. In 1912 he was appointed Chief Engineer of the City of San Francisco. He undertook the building of new infrastructure for the city after the disastrous earthquake and fires of 1906, including the construction of the Twin Peaks tunnel, the famous Seashore Wall, the streetcar (tramway) system and the San Francisco Water-Supply and Electric-Power project, involving dams, powerhouses and 160 miles of transmission towers, pipelines and tunnels the whole way to the City. As City Engineer, O'Shaughnessy commissioned the design and construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. The O'Shaughnessy Dam was named in his honour and provides water and electricity to 2.4 million people in the city of San Francisco, San Mateo County, Alameda.

Image 1-Galway City Mayor , Cllr Terry O’Flaherty and Mr Keith Warnock, Vice President for Capital Projects, NUI Galway cut the ribbon to officially launch the O’Shaughnessy Bridge with members of NUI Galway and Galway City Council.
Image 2-Galway City Mayor , Cllr Terry O’Flaherty and Mr Keith Warnock, Vice President for Capital Projects, NUI Galway

Photographer: Aengus McMahon

Categories: Architecture | Practice

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