Cork's new Mary Elmes Bridge opens to the public

Cork's new Mary Elmes Bridge opens to the public
The new Mary Elmes Bridge open to the public, linking Merchant's Quay with St. Patrick's Quay, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Cork’s newest bridge opened to the public today.

The Mary Elmes Bridge connects Patrick’s Quay and Merchant’s Quay and will be used by up to 11,000 people each day.

People crossing the new bridge todayPicture: Jim Coughlan.
People crossing the new bridge todayPicture: Jim Coughlan.

The 165-tonne pedestrian and cycle bridge, which has been named after Second World War aid worker Mary Elmes, was recently put in place by barge from Cobh, where it was built.

It was fabricated by Thompsons of Carlow.

While City Hall has plans to host an official opening ceremony at some point, the bridge was opened to members of the public today.

Seating along the bridge was being used by members of the public who stopped to relax and enjoy the warm weather.

Two cranes, with the combined lifting power of 1,250 tonnes, lifted the bridge into position onto a barge before it was transported up the River Lee in recent weeks.

The bridge, which has a clear span of 66m from St Patrick’s Quay to Merchants Quay, was subdivided into nine sections for construction and transportation.

Enjoying the new seating on the bridge, Eugene Butt, from Mayfield.Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Enjoying the new seating on the bridge, Eugene Butt, from Mayfield.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Flood protection barriers will be integrated into the parapet walls, meaning that in the event of a particularly high flood, the bridge ends can be closed by pulling across the integrated flood barriers.

Lighting on the bridge will be provided by energy-efficient LED fittings recessed into the handrails while below deck feature lighting will also be used to highlight the spine beam which varies in depth and width for structural and aesthetic reasons.

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