. Calatrava maybe €1m . Where did the other €31.9m admitted to by the DDDA go to ??
We should call it the Burj Al Bertie seeing as it has a whiff of Aherniated Dyspepsia about it …stranded as it is in a partially built concrete canyon.
Ultimately it connects nothing with precisely fuck all …which is pretty much Berties entire legacy .
The Mackin Street bridge in the second of a pair. The story goes back further - to the James Joyce Memorial Bridge at Queen Street.
This little known, little used and very expensive bridge (and its sister bridge at Macken Street – see dublincity.ie/services/mackenbr2.htm) has an interesting story. It demonstrates Dublin City Council’s incompetence and arrogance.
The story started when Owen Keegan, the former well loved controller of traffic and now head of DLRCC - the man who put a bus lane down a road with no buses, decided that he wanted a monument to his own arrogance. He decided that he wanted a trophy bridge and selected the Spanish designer Santiago de Calatrava (a one trick pony in bridge building terms) to design a bridge that would match his ego. Note that he did not go to tender for the bridge design as building a bridge over the mighty Liffey at Blackhall Place is clearly well beyond the competence of any Irish architect. He used a procurement technique that allowed him select Santiago de Calatrava because of their unique ability, bypassing any normal tendering process.
Note that at this stage, Dublin City Council had a working budget of just over €5 million to build the bridge.
Naturally Santiago de Calatrava accepted the unnegotiated piece of work that fell into his lap. But because of the small size of the project, he looked to have Dublin City Council appoint a local representative to oversee his interests. After some rapid back-of-the-envelope calculations and addition of his substantial fee he also increased the budget to nearly €9 million. So far, €4 million extra for a bridge that the Army Engineering Corps could build in a few weeks for a fraction of the cost. The budget increase was accepted without discussion by the ever perceptive Owen Keegan.
Then Dublin City Council appointed Roughan & O’Donovan, Consulting Engineers of Arena House, Arena Road, Sandyford, Dublin 18 as the delegated Consulting Engineer (Santiago de Calatrava being the supposed actual Consulting Engineer as well as the Architect) for the project. Again, without any tender, selection process or negotiation.
The construction of the bridge proceeded. The bridge as designed by Santiago de Calatrava had significant design flaws. Incorrect site investigation was performed. Work done on steel had to be redone at very considerable expense
Irishenco were appointed as the construction contractor after a limited tender process. The company clearly lacked the competence to perform such a project
Professor A. Hamilton in a report states that the Bridge project had not been “well planned, constructed or administered”. Some of the Professor’s conclusions are:
The bridge as it was designed by Santiago de Calatrava suffered from significant design defects including specifying incorrect welds and the incorrect type of steel. This all lead to considerable delay and additional expense. Santiago de Calatrava agreed to alter the steel specifications. This in effect was an admission that the original specifications were deficient.
The Architect was appointed without tender under the “artistic” exemption provided in Directive 92/50/EC (the “Public Services Contracts Directive”). In light of the flaws in design and specification, this must be queried, that is, in fact, “the contract [could] only be carried out by a particular contractor/service provider”: Santiago de Calatrava.
It is stated that the Architect - not Dublin City Council - appointed the Engineer and I acknowledge that Dublin City Council has no direct contractual relationship with the Engineer. They were appointed on the recommendation of Dublin City Council and as a result of a procurement process whereby only its name was provided by the City Council to Santiago de Calatrava.
Professor Hamilton is critical of the role of Roughan & O’Donovan role in the project and states that they did not perform their duties in the way expected of then in a project of this type. Roughan & O’Donovan clearly lacked the required skills.
Professor Hamilton criticises the appointment of a single construction contractor to handle the varied aspects of this project. He says that few, if any, Irish general civil engineering construction contractors would be likely to possess the necessary skills. Irishenco lacked the necessary competencies to provide the services for which it was engaged.
Professor Hamilton is also extremely critical of the tender process and in particular, Dublin City Council’s decision to award the tender on the basis of price alone. Irishenco tendered low - its bid was approximately half the price of the highest bid - and has, it would appear, sought to drive-up the contract price through project changes (an old tactic).
Professor Hamilton states that Dublin City Council employees (that is, Owen Keegan, Tim Brick and others) did not understand the requirements of the project. Professor Hamilton states that at the time Dublin City Council lacked the necessary project management skills. No-one within the City Council had overall responsibility for the project. There was no clear division of responsibilty between the Engineer’s functions and the role of the City Council . The Civic Office files are described as a mess. The site investigation work was inadequate, leading to delays and increased costs. The recommendation of a particular Irish firm of consulting engineers to Santiago de Calatrava is criticised as is the tender process for selecting Irishenco.
The end result of all this mess was that a project that had an initial budget of €5 million, an adequate amount for such a simple bridge costed nearly €12 million (the actual cost was concealed from the public) and was a year and a half late.
Finally, you may remember the following:
“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 €8.4 million bridge was opened on Monday by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mr Dermot Lacey.”
A pathetic end to such a saga.
As an interesting aside, note that Tim Brick was the supposed Dublin City Council project manager for the project. This is the project that Professor Hamilton said was not managed at all. This is the same Tim Brick that is the supposed project manager for the Port Tunnel and the man who decided not to increase its height.
However all is clearly well now as Santiago de Calatrava is the designer for the now very late and unlike the JJMB actually needed bridge at Mackin Street. And to top it off, Dublin City Council introduced the College Green so-called bus gate before the Mackin Street bridge was opened, delays caused by their own arrogance and corruption.
There isn’t a wall long enough to line the fuckers up against to shoot them.