Samuel Beckett Bridge - Maintenance free Swing Bridge in Dublin

Hollandia Infra, Krimpen aan de IJssel, The Netherlands
Realisation maintenance friendly swing bridge
Development of bespoke D-glide bearings and guides to suit



The question
The Dublin city council wanted the Calatrava designed bridge, to be as maintenance friendly as possible. Besides minimal maintenance, zero pollution and maximum uptime were the main operational objectives.

The practice

Zero pollution means no lubrication, hence no conventional bearings. Hollandia, the builder of the bridge, asked DRIE-D in an early stage to be part of the engineering team to realise a design that achieved these goals.

The solution
D-glide bearings were used to realise given demands. Additional advantages: the components are more reliable and more compact and as a whole hugely more cost efficient.

The central pylon is supported by two radial bearings. They are segmented for easy installation inside the concrete outer column and individually adjustable to create an accurate interface with the relatively inaccurate concrete structure.

The full weight of the bridge of around 5.500 Ton, is supported by a D-glide trust bearing of only one meter in diameter. To envision what this means and how impressive this is: it roughly equals the weight of the complete population of a small, 80.000 residents city, all supported by a D-glide bearing the size of a coffee table.

Even the guides of the 600 mm thick steel locking pins are made of D-glide and operate without lubrication, as well as the bearings of the traffic barriers that prevent cars from driving into the water at an open bridge and all other moving parts.

The result
A beautiful and hyper-modern, landmark swing bridge, which is quietly and efficiently operating without any maintenance of the moving parts.