Belfast Telegraph

Derry Peace Bridge scoops yet another award during its first year

By Brendan McDaid

The Peace Bridge in Londonderry has acquired a fourth prestigious award in its first year.

The latest accolade was conferred by the Waterways Trust at a major ceremony in Birmingham.

The Derry landmark won the Waterways Renaissance Award for design and construction in a UK-wide competition to find the cream of innovation along the UK’s rivers and canals.

The awards are designed to highlight elegant engineering solutions as well as cutting-edge architecture.

The Peace Bridge was one of 29 projects to be shortlisted for the awards, which test projects that integrate appropriate design for the surrounding area, while maximising opportunities for enjoying the waterway and connecting people separated by waterways.

To date, over 600,000 people have crossed the pedestrian bridge, linking Derry city centre on the west bank of the River Foyle with the former Army barracks at Ebrington in the east.

Sean Currie, Ilex's programme manager, said they were delighted with the latest award.

“The Peace Bridge is attracting significant numbers of visitors to our city and for those living here, it has become a landmark and a new icon for the city,” he said.

“We are honoured to receive this accolade from the Waterways Trust, which recognises the excellence of the design and engineering expertise employed in the construction of the bridge.”

Roger Hanbury, chief executive of the Waterways Trust, described the Peace Bridge as “one of the most complex bridges ever designed and built”.

He said: “Its construction was an exemplar in partnership working as well as construction methods.

“This bridge offers more than just a means of getting from A to B, it unites two once divided communities and will help to transform the city. It is a very worthy winner.”

The bridge, which officially opened in June 2011, won an Achieving Excellence award from the Construction Employers Federation in October 2011.

This was followed by a double victory at the Irish Planning Institute Awards in February this year.

The Peace Bridge, along with Derry’s Ebrington Square, won the Place Making Award and has also recently won a commendation from the Royal Society of Ulster Architects.

Background

The Peace Bridge became the third bridge to cross the River Foyle when it opened in June 2011.

The European Union awarded £14.5m from its PEACE III Programme to create the shared public space.

The S-shaped pedestrian and cycle bridge measures 235 metres bank-to-bank and is 312 metres long in total.

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