Connecting the Fanad Peninsula in County Donegal, Mulroy Bay Bridge is one of the largest bridges in Ireland: a high level multi-span bridge over a sea estuary. It has been successfully constructed in an Area of Outstanding Beauty, an extremely sensitive Special Area of Conservation and a Natural Habitat Area.
Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern spoke glowingly of the project in 2007: "With the completion of the Mulroy Bay Bridge project, we will see one of the most beautiful parts of the island opened up to the tourist market. This will have a major impact on people's every day lives by substantially reducing travelling time and making services such as shops and schools much more accessible1."
RPS is the premier bridge designer in Ireland, with an impressive bridges portfolio, and was responsible for scheme statutory approvals, the preliminary and detailed design, the EIS, contract documents and procurement, and construction supervision for client Donegal County Council.
The bridge is 340 metres long, comprising five spans with a main span of 100 metres, and a clearance height for shipping of 20 metres. Fishing and leisure vessels use the Bay frequently and it was necessary to provide a channel that the boats can safely navigate, in waters characterised for very fast inter-tidal currents. Identification and provision of the required headroom and lateral clearances was paramount. Also, the appropriate shipping impact load on the bridge piers, in terms of direction, height and magnitude was necessary for detailed structural design.
An Taoiseach Brian Cowen said at the opening ceremony "It is a tremendous honour for me to officially open the Bridge. The improvement of the infrastructure will make Donegal and the North West region a more attractive location for enterprise creation."
The Award was accepted by RPS chartered engineers Tony Magee, Kenny Mason, and Peter Fitzgerald at the Award Ceremony and gala event, hosted by RTE television presenter Miriam O’Callaghan, on 30th January 2010 in the Burlington Hotel, Dublin.
RPS Engineer Tony Magee was responsible for the project from design inception in 2001 to final completion last year. Tony says: "Donegal attracts many tourists and we believe we have been successful in engineering not only a functional structure but also a recognised and highly appealing attraction in the region. We are pleased that the bridge over Mulroy Bay has received national and international recognition."
RPS was joined at the Award Ceremony by Donegal County Council and BAM civil engineering contractors. Bernard Murphy, the Director of BAM, spoke for all involved in the project as he said "We are very proud of having completed the construction of this visually stunning and complex landmark bridge which bears witness to the commitment and skill of everyone involved in delivering this striking structure."
1 Quoted in BBC News Northern Ireland. Monday 11 May 2009.