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New 'civic plaza' may replace O'Connell Bridge crossing


An aerial view of O'Connell Bridge

An aerial view of O'Connell Bridge

An aerial view of O'Connell Bridge

IT'S O'Connell Bridge but not as we know it.

This is what the famous Liffey crossing could look like if it was turned into a "grand civic plaza", urban designers Fergus Browne and David Jordan claim.

They have radically re-imagined O'Connell Bridge and the Liffey quays as part of the 21st Century Liffey Project.

"The central element to a re-visioned O'Connell Bridge is the proper utilisation of the large amount of space present where there is huge scope for increasing space for the pedestrian," they state in a document to be presented to Dublin city councillors next week.

"(The) creation of a grand civic plaza is a realistic prospect. Crucially, pedestrian 'desire lines', critical for the success of such a large space, are taken into account.



"We envisage the creation of two major civic plazas – one at O'Connell Bridge and another in front of the Custom House. The Custom House plaza will be completely pedestrianised with traffic diverted to the rear of the Custom House along Beresford Place."

The document adds: "The design scheme proposed is both radical and yet restrained.

"It is radical in the sense that the majority of the space is allocated solely for the use of the pedestrian majority.

"Indeed the diagonal crossing is designed to give the person in the street a sense of safety and freedom in both their use of the space and their choice of journey through the space."

The research project "was self-initiated" but supported by Dublin City Council and the Dublin Civic Trust.

It proposes widening the footpaths along the Liffey quays and adding adjacent bicycle lanes with a bus lane and a single lane for cars.