Friday, October 28, 2011

An Droichead Beo - University of Limerick's Living Bridge

The University of Limerick boasts the longest pedestrian bridge in Ireland, a whole 180 metres long.
There are many reasons why I chose to write about this bridge; I admire it's unique and innovative design; Its location is appealing to me; The surrounding landscape is aesthetically pleasing.
The bridge was completed in 2007. A Limerick company managed the project while the building work was completed by Eiffel Construction [the guys who built the Eiffel Tower!]. You can find out more information on the design and architecture on the UL projects website
There is a stunning picture of the bridge on UL's website main page accompanying an article about the University achieving a 5star rating. It seems clear to me that UL is proud of the project, it is a special feature on campus.

Being from Cork, I live on campus during the week, in Dromroe Village. I can experience the beauty of the bridge in less than two minutes. I have many friends living in Cappavilla Village and the 'Living Bridge' connects their side of campus with mine. 

The bridge provides an enjoyable walk for me to go on to reach them, especially at night when the bridge is alight with amazing colours. The bridge also provides seating areas, which makes a great meeting point for us on nice sunny days. Admittedly, it can be a perfect spot for 'people watching' when we're bored!

We love to sit and chat here

The landscape around the bridge is magical. The area is surrounded with lots of different big, old trees and with the River Shannon flowing beneath, you often can see a few swans and ducks swimming. Being a member of the UL photographic society I love to visit the bridge to take pictures of the beautiful scenery.

View of River Shannon

Beautiful scenery

Ducks swimming

I always wondered why exactly it's called the 'Living Bridge'. By researching this question I found many answers. One reason is that it is 50meters wide, providing seating area for people to meet with friends, thus the bridge is alive with chatter and laughter. Other reasons included the fact that it is designed in a way that it almost moves with your step, you can especially feel this sensation when the bridge is full of people going to and from lectures.
For me it is a special bridge because I can go there to relax and take pictures when it's quiet and meet with friends when it's alive and bustling with fellow college goers.

If you are visiting UL it would definitely be worth taking a stroll on this bridge.
A campus map provides you with directions so you have no excuse!

Clodagh Walsh [11128011]

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