5 April 2011

Peace Bridge

It is emblematic of division in Northern Irish society that an urban area the size of Londonderry should have only one bridge linking the city over its river. If an absence can be symbolic then the under-adorned Foyle says as much as Belfast’s Peace Walls. That will soon change. A new link has been created. Already some hardhat-wearing construction worker will have been the first to walk across the new bridge, perhaps they drew straws for the honour. The bridge aims to be emblematic of a new era, it has been named the Peace Bridge.

From a new map of Derry City.

Currently still displayed on Goggle Maps, the Peace Bridge early in its construction.

Above is a section from a new visitor map available in Derry. It’s done in a pictorial style, perhaps prettifying the city a tad more than the reality on the ground. The Peace Bridge is not open to use yet but has been included on the map. As far as I know this is the first appearance of the Peace Bridge in Ulster cartography. The bridge is just about as curvy as in this illustration. Swinging back and forth as it crosses the water, making you think of the letter S. If, as has often been the case, dividing a city is done with high straight walls, rigid verticals and right angles then it is pleasingly suitable that both the bridge and this image are all about curves, waves and fanning supports.