A PUBLIC consultation on Waterford’s proposed new River Suir Sustainable Transport Bridge was held last week.
Representatives from Waterford City & County Council and Roughan & O’Donovan Consulting Engineers were in attendance at the Granary building in Waterford on Wednesday last to answer queries and provide details of the project.Images of the proposed new bridge were on display. The 207 metre long pedestrian bridge will link the North Quays with the area around the Clock Tower and will feature a shuttle bus which will regularly travel between both sides of the river. An opening section of the bridge will allow river traffic to pass through.There will be a number of alcoves in which mini cafes or coffee docks can be located.
The bridge will also include CCTV to ensure safety. The project has already generated wide ranging views – including some strong views from local Councillors.
Cllr Eddie Mulligan (FF) has described the bridge as one of the most important aspects of the North Quays project as it will provide a “link” to the city centre.However, he has warned of the potential of the North Quays area becoming a “standalone suburb”.“We want it to be an intrinsic part of Waterford city centre,” he said. He has highlighted the need for the bridge to make an “impact on visitors” and believes the current design “lacks huge visual impact”. “Designers have come up with a design which they say is sympathetic to the surroundings,” he said.
“Visually, I wasn’t impressed with what I saw. To me, the bridge in its current design mirrors Rice Bridge. If we want to blend in and be boring, that’s fine.”
Cllr Mulligan said there is a need for thinking “outside the box” and believes an “iconic art piece” should be created.
“I don’t agree with the sleek, sympathetic design. We need an iconic bridge that encourages people to come into Waterford and encourage people to transit from either side,” he said.
Cllr Mulligan said Councillors were previously told that the shuttle bus would travel as far as the Apple Market area in order to provide a link with the Michael Street Shopping Centre.
However, it’s believed current plans see the bus only travelling as far as the Clock Tower. “To me, it needs to be delivering people down into the Apple Market area,” said Cllr Mulligan.
He has pointed to the Harbour Drive Bridge in San Diego as an example of what could be achieved. “It has been said to me that we wouldn’t have the budget to stretch to that, but to see this as an expansion of our city centre we need a bridge that is iconic,” he said.
Submissions or observations with respect to the proposed River Suir Transport Bridge, dealing with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area, may be made, to arrive no later than 3pm on 22nd August 2018, by any of the following methods:In writing, marked ‘River Suir Sustainable Transport Bridge’ to: Peter Keane, Economic Development, Waterford City & County Council, 35 The Mall, Waterford.By email, with the subject ‘River Suir Sustainable Transport Bridge’ to firstname.lastname@example.orgBy electronic submission by filling out the online form at http://bit.ly/SustainableTransportBridgeInformation on Plans and particulars may also be viewed on Waterford Council’s website – www.waterfordcouncil.ie