€400m Dublin Port expansion to include 190m lifting bridge over Liffey

A digital render of the proposed new 2.2km Southern Port Access Road (SPAR) lifting bridge A digital render of the proposed new 2.2km Southern Port Access Road (SPAR) lifting bridge (Image courtesy of Dublin Port)

Dublin Port Company has started a formal consultation on a €400m expansion, including a 190m-long lifting bridge over the river Liffey.

The scheme, called the 3FM project, is the third and final part of a masterplan to bring Dublin Port up to full capacity by 2040.

It focuses on land on the Poolbeg Peninsular on the south side of the bay, and will deliver 20% of the capacity required by 2040.

Dublin Port Company has undertaken detailed designs and environmental analysis ahead of lodging a planning application in summer 2023.

There are seven main elements to the project:

1) A new 2.2km road called the Southern Port Access Road (SPAR). This will link the north and south port areas, and will include a 190m bridge, with a 45m lifting section to the east of the Tom Clarke Bridge. This will take heavy goods traffic off local roads.

2) The largest container terminal in Ireland in front of the ESB’s Poolbeg Power Station. It will have 650 metres of new deeper water berths at the east of the port and comprise a 9.1 hectare area for exports (Area N) at the waterside and a 5.9 hectare yard (Area O) on the southern side of the Poolbeg peninsula for imports.

3) The construction of a major new roll on-roll off terminal just north of the Sean Moore Roundabout. This 12.6 hectare site will take trucks with containers for the increasing volumes of traffic coming directly from Europe after Brexit.

4) A new 325m ship turning circle in front of Pigeon House Harbour to allow safe and efficient turning of 240m long ferries – the largest class of vessels.

5) A utility area of 1 hectare to accommodate services provided by others including the district heating system to be provided from the Covanta waste to energy plant.

6) A modern sailing and rowing campus with enhanced facilities for a range of users including sailing and rowing clubs, sea scouts, the Nautical Trust and local boat owners.

7) Community facilities including a 2.8 hectare port park and adjacent landscaped area, with 5G floodlit playing pitches and dog run, along with 5.5 km of active cycle and pedestrian paths. When linked to the planned active travel routes on the north side of the river, they will provide over 16km of cycle & pedestrian paths.

‘Generational approach to development’

Dublin Port chief executive Barry O’Connell said, “Exports now account for 40% of all movements through the port with at least some of the 60% of imports also comprising of raw materials later to be exported.

“Dublin Port will need to maximise capacity within its existing footprint for an annual throughput of 3.1 million trailers and containers by 2040. The 3FM project will deliver 20% of this capacity through the largest Lo-Lo terminal in Ireland – 353,000 containers per annum and a new Ro-Ro freight terminal – 252,000 freight trailers per annum.

“Dublin Port Company takes a generational approach to development at the Port – large infrastructure projects take up to 20 years from inception to completion. We know what we have to deliver on to enable Ireland’s growth up to 2040 and beyond and our expert team has been actively engaged in delivering the Masterplan for more than 10 years now.”


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Andy Brown Editor, Editorial, UK - Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786224 E-mail: [email protected]
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