A new bridge is planned to go from the War Memorial Gardens in Islandbridge/Chapelizod across the Liffey. The Office of Public Works (OPW) are responsible.
The latest update (8th March 2023) is from a parliamentary question which Patrick Costello TD kindly put in on my behalf. It says that the OPW aim to apply for planning permission in the first quarter of 2023, hopefully tendering for the works in 2023.
You can see the full parliamentary questions and answers below. Dublin City Council voted to allow such a bridge in 2020, and I supported the project, but will aim for to:
- be completed speedily,
- be open continuously to allow a new cycling/walking route even outside of park hours,
- have minimal visual and ecological impact on that stretch of the river, and
- be matched with an entrance and safe crossing to allow good access into the park.
You can see the winning design here.
Most recent answer (8th March 2023):
Q. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the status of the proposed walking and cycling bridge across the River Liffey from the War Memorial Gardens, Islandbridge; if funding has been assigned to the project; if so, the amount; the proposed timeline for works to commence; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
A. The Office of Public Works is progressing with the planning application of the new Commemorative Bridge and entrance plaza linking the Irish National War Memorial Gardens (INWMG) to Conyngham Road and the Phoenix Park on the northern side of the Liffey. This project is widely supported by local elected representatives, community, stakeholders and the general public. The OPW is engaging with consultants, Ian Ritchie Architects, to advance the design scheme and prepare the planning application for the bridge. It is not possible to give an exact costing for the proposed bridge at this time. The Office of Public Works has also engaged Consultants to prepare a draft Flood Risk Assessment and Section 50 application. To date, all appropriate baseline studies have been completed. These include the Feasibility Study, Ecological studies and a detailed business case. Dublin City Council recently amended the local area plan for Inchicore to allow for development of this piece of infrastructure Funding has not been specifically allocated for this project to date but approx. €100k has been spent on design consultant costs and survey costs and a further €700k is allocated for projected works to bring this to planning in Quarter 1 of 2023. It is anticipated that the OPW will tender for the construction works later in 2023.
Aprevious reply to the same question, 20th September 2022:
A. The Office of Public Works is progressing with the planning application of the new commemorative bridge and entrance plaza linking the Irish National War Memorial Gardens to Conyngham Road and the Phoenix Park. To date all appropriate baseline studies have been completed including the Feasibility Study, Ecological studies and a Business Development Strategy. Funding has been approved to planning permission stage, and the OPW is continuing to work with Ian Ritchie Architect to get this project to full planning permission. The OPW anticipate submission by end of Q4, 2022. Subject to further availability of funding, a full procurement process will be undertaken and it is hoped that works will commence on site before the end of 2023.
Aprevious reply to the same question, 6th April 2022:
A. “The Irish National War Memorial Gardens at Islandbridge, Dublin, were designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens to commemorate the memory of the Irish men and women who died in the First World War. The original design for the Irish War Memorial Gardens included a bridge across the Liffey linking the northside of the river with the gardens. This element of the gardens has not been realised to date.
“At present, the current access point to the Irish War Memorial Gardens from the South Circular Road is confusing and ill-defined, with many visitors have trouble locating the gardens.
“In May 2019, the Office of Public Works (OPW) and the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) announced a competition to design a new commemorative bridge at the Irish National War Memorial Gardens in Dublin. Sixty one submissions were received from nine countries. The winning design was submitted by Ian Ritchie Architects based in London.
“It is envisaged that the new commemorative bridge and entrance plaza linking the Irish National War Memorial Gardens to Cunningham Road and Phoenix Park will provide a formal entrance to the Gardens, will improve visitor experience and provide a significantly enhanced pedestrian and cycling access to the Gardens. The bridge will also support the development of blue way and greenway cycle infrastructure in this part of the city by providing a clear connecting route across the river.
“To date there has been high-level engagement with key stakeholders including Dublin City Council, Fáilte Ireland, The Irish National War Memorial Garden Trustees, University College Dublin and local stakeholders including the various boat clubs based in the vicinity of the gardens. The development of this bridge is included in the Dublin City Council Development Plan 2022-2028.
“The OPW is now working closely with Ian Ritchie Architects, who won the architectural design competition for the commemorative bridge, to bring the original concept design to full planning permission. All appropriate baseline studies have been completed including the Feasibility Study, Ecological studies and a Business Development Strategy. A variation to the local area development plan to support this type of development was approved by DCC councillors in 2021. It is anticipated that a planning application will be lodged later this year. Funding has been approved to planning permission stage.
“Subject to further availability of funding, a full procurement process will be undertaken and it is hoped that works will commence on site before the end of 2023.”