By Nykole King
The Salmon Weir Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge is in the final stage of completion, according to the Galway City Council.
The bridge will provide pedestrians and cyclists a safer route uninterrupted from motorists. It is located just south of the existing Salmon Weir Bridge.
This is the first river crossing infrastructure project in Galway City in 30 years.
Galway City Council said the project reached a milestone earlier this week. Newtownsmith Road was reopened with a newly paved stone surface.
Some Galwegians have expressed positive reactions with the new structure set to open in the coming weeks.
Bronwyn has lived in Galway for eight years. She crosses the old Salmon Weir at least twice a week.
Bronwyn said that the pedestrian bridge is “long needed,” and that she said she will likely use it more because she will feel safer crossing without the risk of being struck by a motorist.
“It’s very dangerous to cross this bridge all the time because of the traffic. It’s good to have a separate bridge,” said Bronwyn.
Richard is from Galway and he crosses the Corrib twice a day on his route to work. But he said that this will make a “huge” difference for him.
“This gets really congested in the summer with tourism. Also, if I have my bike (the current Salmon Weir Bridge) is a particularly unfriendly road to cycle on,” said Richard.
Although unfriendly, Richard said that the reoccurring traffic jams on the current Salmon Weir mean he never really feels unsafe while traffic is at a standstill. However, having the dedicated route to pedestrians and cyclists means he will have a quicker commute.
Council said the new infrastructure is a “unique” project because it crosses three separate watercourses: Persse’s Distillery River, River Corrib and Friar’s River Canal.
Another key milestone has been achieved on the construction of the Salmon Weir Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge with the reopening yesterday of the Newtownsmith Road, with a new stone paved surface making it more appeasing to pedestrians and improving the public realm. pic.twitter.com/Aic7GGh4pX— Galway City Council (@GalwayCityCo) April 4, 2023
It is named after the existing Salmon Weir Bridge currently connecting the University Road in front of the Galway Cathedral to the city centre.
This infrastructure project is funded by the National Transport Authority and the European Regional Development Fund.
The steel and aluminum bridge has an irregular design. It was purposefully built to resemble the shape of a fish with tampering ends similar to the shape of a fish.
Planning documents show that the length will span 55 metres. Moreover, the most narrow part will be 5.5 metres and the widest part in the centre of the bridge will be 9.6 metres.
There is a spine beam running down the centre of the bridge with bench seating for views towards the north and south of the River Corrib. In addition, embedding into the handrail swill be low energy LED lighting.