After three years and more than $22 million, the city of Dublin has opened its one-of-a-kind suspended pedestrian bridge over the Scioto River. The unique structure has an S-shape curve that hovers through a main tower soaring 169 feet above the river.
“The design of the bridge is really remarkable. It’s very striking,” says Megan O'Callaghan, deputy city manager of Dublin.
O’Callaghan and other Dublin officials showed off the bridge to the media and announced its new name, "The Dublin Link,” on Wednesday afternoon. They plan a huge dedication for the public on March 13, around the city's St. Patrick's Day celebrations.
The 760-foot long structure will connect Dublin Historic District on the west side to the new Bridge Street District development on the east side of the Scioto River.
O’Callaghan says the city used capital funds to pay for the bridge that connects both sides of Dublin. Private developers have teamed up with the city of Dublin on the Bridge Street District. The 1,100- acre area around the Scioto includes 400 apartments and condominiums as well as retail, office and commercial enterprises.
Officials say the bridge is wide to allow pedestrians and bicyclists a safer way to travel through Dublin.
“The width of the bridge deck that will be used by both pedestrians and bicyclists is 14 feet in-between two hand rails along either side of the bridge,” O’Callaghan says.
O’Callaghan says that rainy conditions over the past year complicated work on the bridge.
“Last year, we had an unusually wet weather season and that wet weather causes a rise in the river elevation,” O’Callaghan says. “So there were periods during the year that we were unable to work on the bridge.”
Some structural materials also did not arrive as scheduled from Europe. A company in Italy fabricated the cables needed for the S-curve in the bridge. Workers in Germany then tested the cables before shipping them to Dublin.
“There were some challenges dealing with the fabrication and ensuring that they were tested and they were extensively tested over in Germany, so that did take some time,” O’Callaghan says. “But it wasn’t anything that we weren’t anticipating and prepared for, and we were able to work through everything and still deliver the project pretty much on schedule.”
O’Callaghan says the project was completed on budget and within the three-year period expected. It took 860,000 pounds of structural steel to build the bridge, which also contains 350,000 pounds of reinforcing steel.
Dublin officials also plan to create a Riverside Crossing Park that will encompass both sides of the Scioto. It will include green spaces, a pavilion building, seating areas, water features and an interactive play area.
The city expects that project will finish in 2022.
“Our residents are excited about the new connection for both bicyclists and pedestrians,” O’Callaghan says. “We’re excited to be able to provide the connection to our residents to be able to enjoy the vibrant areas on either side of the river.”