Footbridge Design – The Rose Bridge

As part of a larger ongoing conservation effort within The National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, and to commemorate the hosting of the World Botanical Garden Conference, a major restoration project was undertaken in late 2009. This project included the replacement of a bridge across the River Tolka to provide a more pedestrian friendly link between the Rose Gardens and the remainder of the Botanic Gardens. The Botanic Gardens date back to the 19th century and remain the primary centre for horticulture in Ireland. The Gardens remain popular as an attraction within the city with visitor numbers proving strong year on year. To this end, the facilities within the gardens are continuously being reviewed by the Office of Public Works, with the resulting restoration projects well received by the public.

The Rose Gardens are separated from the rest of the Botanic Gardens by the meandering River Tolka upstream of Glasnevin Bridge. They are located in a visually rich area with the soft landscaping of the gardens contrasted by the renowned greenhouse structures and the iconic Glasnevin Church. The Rose Bridge project presented a number of difficulties to be addressed in a sympathetic manner befitting the area. The chosen design features a steel bridge structure arched in elevation and also curved on plan to provide the required clear span of 12m over the river. The structure consists of circular hollow steel sections primary and secondary beams with an Ekki Board timber deck. The structure is designed to accommodate both pedestrian load and vehicles used for maintenance within the gardens. OCSC worked in close liaison with an in-house OPW architectural team in the design and development of the bridge. Construction began in December 2009 and the bridge opened to the public in April 2010.