Fears of children playing may lead to bridge alteration
Fears have emerged that Dublin's newest bridge across the Liffey may be extremely dangerous for children tempted to play on it.
Dublin City Council said last night that, if necessary, it will amend the design of the new James Joyce Bridge after people expressed anxiety about children climbing on it.
The council says it is monitoring the activities of children climbing and sliding on the bridge.
The â‚¬8.4 million bridge was opened on Monday by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mr Dermot Lacey.
Young people have been seen climbing up and sliding back down the steel arches that rise about 25 feet above the traffic. One man who saw their activities on Monday evening, Mr Gary Leeson, said there was an "obvious safety risk" that the children could fall into either the traffic or the river below.
A Bridewell Garda station spokesman said there had been a number of calls from members of the public concerned about young people on the bridge.
"There's not a lot we can do except tell them to get down. It is dangerous alright. Something awful could happen."
A spokeswoman for Dublin City Council said that although standard health and safety checks had been carried out on the bridge before, during and after its construction, "we did not anticipate this activity by the children".
She added: "We are monitoring the situation and will amend the design if necessary."
The bridge is an integrated part of the North King Street traffic management scheme and has been designed to facilitate buses, in particular.
According to the deputy city engineer, Mr Tim Brick, it was also built to " set a high standard of design for an area that was likely to see a lot of new development".