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Lagan Weir Footbridge, Belfast

‘Safe and sustainable’ access to Belfast

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Project Overview

Client Belfast City Council
Project Value £5m
Expertise Civil Engineering
Sector Bridges
Timeline Dec 2014 - June 2015
Location Northern Ireland
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Project summary

Winner of the RICS NI “Infrastructure” Award and the “Best Public Space” at the Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RUSA) Awards, the multi awardwinning Lagan Weir Footbridge is a five span structure across the River Lagan Weir along Belfast’s waterfront. Developed as part of a wider regeneration project for the city, it is 120m in length, installed between abutments and features additional ramp lengths of approximately 27m and 29m. Its deck width varies from 4m to 10m at its widest. Designed around the principle of “elegant simplicity”, the Lagan Weir Footbridge provides safe and sustainable access into Belfast for cyclists as well as pedestrians. Contributing to the ongoing transformation of the city, it replaced a 2m-wide footbridge that was too narrow to accommodate rising numbers.

The detail

With 16,000 people using the bridge each week, the Lagan Weir Footbridge is a “pivotal” part of a more sustainable approach to travelling around Belfast. Interestingly, on its first day, more than 160,000 people crossed it – more people than those who collectively visit Disney parks in a day in the US, Japan or Paris. The new bridge is a sleek, shiny high-tech design with an 8m wide walkway and stainless steel railings, and it features a multi-coloured illumination system. The
bridge is supported on the existing weir buttresses using an innovative strut design that allows it to “float” above the river a few metres away from the Weir.

The vertical profile is a continuous curved profile with ramps at a gradient of 1:20 while the horizontal alignment is also curved with a degree of a-symmetry. The new footbridge consists of structural steel, enveloped in aluminium cladding with a glass parapet on the east elevation and a stainless steel post and wire system on the west parapet. This high quality bridge project was completed in just six months to meet a deadline for the 2015 Tall Ships event.

Project Gallery

“We would like to express our sincere thanks again to the entire team at GRAHAM for all the hard work involved in getting this project constructed successfully to such a high quality standard.”

Alan Lavery - AECOM Architects