Saturday, November 10, 2007

Ha'penny Bridge
The Ha'penny Bridge (Irish: Droichead na Leathphingine) (known later for a time as the Penny Ha'penny Bridge) is a pedestrian bridge built in 1816 over the River Liffey in Dublin, Ireland. Originally called the Wellington Bridge (after the Duke of Wellington), the name of the bridge changed to Liffey Bridge, and somewhat surprisingly, the name remains as so to this day. However, due to its distinct shape as well as the original toll of one halfpenny, (later, one penny, two farthings) the more popular title of Ha'penny Bridge stuck in the minds of the natives. The toll itself was dropped in 1919; before this, turnstiles lay on either side of it.
Before the Ha'penny Bridge had been built there were seven ferries that operated from one side of the Liffey to the other under the watchful eye of William Walsh. The ferries had been said to be in a bad condition and he was told that he had to either fix the ferries or build a bridge. Walsh chose the latter option and was granted the right to extract a ha'penny toll from anyone crossing it for 100 years.
The bridge was originally built from cast iron, which has a great tendency to decay with age. This was especially evident in the side rails, which had begun to rust badly. From 2001 to 2003 the bridge was closed for repair and renovations, and was reopened sporting a new white colour, and a resupported structure containing as many of the old components of the bridge as possible. The repair work was carried out by Harland and Wolff, makers of the RMS Titanic.

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