The Salmon Weir Bridge is likely to become a ‘double bridge’ in the near future with one bridge to deal with buses and pedestrians and the other with cars and vans.
The plan to put a new bridge adjacent to the Salmon Weir was unveiled at Monday’s city council meeting with a presentation to councillors entitled Corrib River Crossing Feasibility Study.
The bridge, although one of the most iconic in Galway, is a traffic and pedestrian safety blackspot. The road is narrow and often congested and at it’s Newtownsmith end it can be difficult for vehicles, especially large vehicles, to turn onto the bridge.
There is no designated pedestrian crossing and the pathways are so narrow that many pedestrians are often left with no choice but to step onto the road if they wish to get past anyone.
Fine Gael councillor Pádraig Conneely has regularly raised the Salmon Weir as an issue and has campaigned for a pedestrian footbridge for it, similar to that used at the Wolfe Tone Bridge.
The new proposal, part of the city council’s plan to introduce rapid bus transit and transport in the city, is a way of dealing with this issue.
Councillors were presented with proposals for a pedestrian bridge over the old Clifden-Galway rail line arches at Woodquay but this does not seem to be attracting much enthusiasm.
The second proposal was for a new pedestrian bridge at Bowling Green. However there is considerable opposition to this particular proposal.
A pedestrian walk in the same location was closed off some years ago as it attracted much anti-social behaviour and residents have made it clear they do not want to see a similar bridge opened up. Also Galway anglers are equally opposed to this bridge.
Both groups are supported in this by Fine Gael councillor Brian Walsh and Labour’s Billy Cameron. Both made the point that the proposed location for the footbridge would hamper and interfere with anglers’ ability to land fish.
The plan that looks most likely to go ahead is one that would see a new bridge erected adjacent to the Salmon Weir Bridge. This means that one bridge could take just pedestrians, or be a bridge to take pedestrians and buses, leaving the other to cater for regular traffic.