The €1.7m repairs to the iconic Shakey Bridge will see the structure maintenance free for the next 20 years, engineers have said.
Detailing the progress of the repairs, David McCarthy of engineering firm Keatings, said that the whole structure is down except the towers which are staying up.
“The cable is still in place, but the four sections of the bridge are down now and have been sent off-site to Mackey Plant Construction in Tipperary.”
The bridge deck sections will remain with the steel fabrication specialists for between three to four months, depending on the condition of the bridge.
“How long the bridge is in Tipperary will depend on the condition of the bridge, once we start blasting it we will start to see what sort of condition the bridge is in. Depending on how bad it is it could take longer to repair.”
The towers of the bridge, officially called Daly's Bridge, will be worked on on-site. Mr McCarthy said this element will be an awkward job.
“We will be encapsulating and scaffolding the towers over the next few weeks, then we will be blasting on-site, doing the repairs onsite to the towers.
“There are environmental restrictions in order to ensure what we are blasting stays within the confines of the encapsulation.
“Basically there is a scaffold enclosure built around the tower, and then that is wrapped with a plastic membrane to seal in the blast material and the paint. That is all collected and disposed of off-site.”
Mr McCarthy said that after the towers are repaired, they will be blasted again in preparation for painting and then the structures will be painted white, in keeping with the traditional look of the bridge. “It is going back exactly as it was.”
The team of 12 to 15 people that were required to dismantle the bridge have now been reduced to between six and eight individuals which will be working on the towers over the next few weeks.
“The crew that was taking down the bridge are gone, we will be demobilising the barge in a couple of weeks, we are still using it to bring across some materials to the north side of the river.
“Once we are finished with that the barge will be going, and then there are some site works to be completed on the job.”
Mr McCarthy said there was some additional work to the surrounding area including seating, lighting, steps and some of the ramp has to be reconstructed as well as some repairs to the key wall.
The ramp has to be part have to be reconstructed, some public realm works, seating and steps to be reconstructed, there are repairs and pointing on the key wall and lighting as well.
Mr McCarthy said the works were on track to be completed by Easter 2020.