A temporary pedestrian river crossing has been proposed to link the Long Walk directly to South Park to facilitate the estimated 400,000 visitors to Galway for the Volvo Ocean Race 2012.
John Killeen of Let’s Do It Global has proposed to install a temporary pedestrian river crossing. The group chairman said the bridge will be “necessary to facilitate the large volumes of festival goers”, and would prevent the possibility of having to close Wolfe Tone Bridge to vehicular traffic.
Next years event is expected to be 10 times bigger than in 2009, according to Mr Killeen. “100 rooms at the Harbour Hotel were block booked last week,” he said, indicating the extent of the event.
Asking the Galway City Council for its support on the bridge, Mr Killeen said: “The festival next year will extend to Eyre Square, the city centre, South Park, and Salthill. In terms of accessibility the bridge will give us the perfect flow for pedestrians throughout the city.”
Quotations have been sought from a company in Britain, and Mr Kileen said it will be practically and financially viable. Fine Gael councillor Frank Fahey questioned the possibility of having the Army facilitate the building of such a structure. However Mr Kileen said it does not have the resources.
Councillors also heard that smaller boats would be able to pass up and down the river with an estimated one metre of clearance. Larger boats will not be able to travel upriver, but will be facilitated to stay in the docks by harbourmaster Captain Brian Sheridan.