Big picture project: Galway city’s Salmon Weir Bridge

by | Apr 30, 2023

Project Manager Kealan Bolton describes the delivery process for the Salmon Weir pedestrian bridge being constructed by Jons Civil Engineering in Galway city

The new Salmon Weir pedestrian bridge structure, expected to be fully completed in June, will tie into the existing footpaths on Gaol Road and Newtownsmith.

The project brought its own unique challenges, with the Corrib Special Area of Conservation and historical walls to be considered at every level of the project.

Due to the restrictive nature of the site and the two main supports being located between watercourses, access was a key issue for the duration of the works.

Temporary bridges were installed to access the works on the islands, with the majority of the construction of the piers serviced by crawler crane.

The purpose of the project is to improve walkers experience in the city, with that in mind pedestrian access was maintained throughout, giving rise to its own challenges.

The urban setting meant the main portion of the bridge was delivered to the site in six segments, assembled nearby and placed with a crawler crane.

The main structure was lifted into place using a 600t Crawler crane from Gabriel O’Brian Cranes. The crane was positioned directly over the edge of the existing masonry wall dating back to the 1860s.

This resulted in a significant amount of temporary works installed to ensure passive forces from the crane platform were not exerted on the existing masonry walls.

When the bridge was assembled it was lifted into position and was temporarily locked off on a holding down arrangement at the base of the end plate and held on top with a temporary lateral brace which was cast into the pier structure.

With this job accuracy was key with 0mm error. Once installed, all holding down bolts matched perfectly.

The project is a significant improvement to the pedestrian and cyclist thoroughfare from the city to the cathedral on onward towards the university and hospital and is part of the overall active travel solution for Galway city.

Jons have been in existence since 1983, this year entering its 40th year. Based in Duleek, Co. Meath, projects are largely civil based across a range of industries including water, rail, roads, bridges, flood relief, motorway and bridge maintenance.

Western ways 

Project: Salmon Weir Pedestrian Bridge
Location: Galway city
Sector: Civil & Structural Engineering
Main Contractor: Jons Civil Engineering
Sub-Contractors: Thompsons of Carlow (Steel Bridge Structure), Electric Skyline (Lighting) Hilliard Ground Engineering (Piling)
Project Manager: Kealan Bolton, Jons Civil Engineering
Developer: Galway City Council
Architect: Atkins
Engineer: Martin Jennings, Atkins
Consultancy: Atkins
Start Date: March 2022
Completion Date: June 2023
Health & Safety: Zero accidents

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