The Shakey Bridge is to close for nine months with repair work to get underway on Monday

The Shakey Bridge is to close for nine months with repair work to get underway on Monday
The Shakey Bridge pictured on Sunday ahead of its closure, dismantlement and full refurbishment beginning today.

WORK on the iconic Shakey Bridge begins today, with the structure to be closed to the public until Easter.

The €1.7m restoration project will take nine months to complete and is being done by L&M Keating Ltd in conjunction with a design and construction team including RPS Consulting Engineers, JCA Conservation Architects, Corrosion Solutions and Inspection Services, and city council staff.

The bridge, which is officially called Daly’s Bridge, is being dismantled and will be taken off-site for the refurbishment work. The 93-year-old, 50.9m bridge has corrosion and other damage which has necessitated the work.

According to Cork City Council, the work will also include the removal of vegetation and graffiti. The pedestrian suspension bridge is set to be reinstated at Easter.

Steelwork has become rusted and will be refurbished. 	Picture: Denis Minihane
Steelwork has become rusted and will be refurbished. Picture: Denis Minihane

It links the southside and northside of the River Lee’s north channel at Fitzgerald’s Park on the south and Sunday’s Well on the north.

The project is funded by the Government through the Department of Tourism, Sport, and Transport and by Cork City Council.

The works on the bridge will be governed by the fact that it is a protected structure. It has been in place since 1926 and was officially opened to the public a year later. The dismantling process will be carried out in sections, as well as the project of reinstating of the bridge next Easter.

The pieces of the bridge will be transported on a barge, to ensure that no damage is done to the structure. It will be taken to the south bank of the river, where each section will be lifted onto a flatbed transporter.

The bridge will be worked on section by section, with the focus first being on removing corrosion from the structure. Any defects will be repaired before the bridge is then repainted. Prior to repainting, the bridge will have a layer of protective coating applied to it.

Peace commissioner M O’Driscoll officially opens the Shakey Bridge in 1927.
Peace commissioner M O’Driscoll officially opens the Shakey Bridge in 1927.

The aim of the refurbishment programme is to ensure that it will be conserved as it was during the process. Back at the site, the remaining bridge towers will be wrapped for the nine-month period, to make sure no material will be lost from them into the river. The towers will also be subject to refurbishment however, and will also be given a protective coating and will be repainted.

Suspension cables will also be removed, to be replaced with new ones which have been made in Italy. New public lighting to approach ramps and bridge structure will also be put in place. The bridge was designed by Cork City engineer Stephen W Farrington and was built by London-based David Rowell and Company in Westminster.

It was built as a replacement to a ferry crossing at the same place, linking the Mardyke to Sunday’s Well. The bridge was built with the financial assistance of a businessman called James Daly, whose name was then officially given to the bridge. However, it went on to become known as the Shakey Bridge and is one of the best-known landmarks in the city.

It featured in a number of scenes in The Young Offenders television series. Tourists visiting Cork regularly visit the bridge.

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