CORK’S newest bridge will be transported to its location at Harley Street from May 13, City Hall has confirmed.
The 165-tonne pedestrian and cycle bridge, which has been named after World War II aid worker Mary Elmes, is to be transported by barge from Cobh where it was built.
The bridge will connect Patrick's Quay and Merchant's Quay and will be used by up to 11,000 people each day. It was fabricated by Thompsons of Carlow. In February and March, it was transported overnight in nine sections to Doyle’s Shipping Yard opposite Cobh train station.
Two cranes with the combined lifting power of 1250-tonnes will lift the bridge into position onto a barge before it is transported up the River Lee.
It is expected the Mary Elmes bridge will pass under Brian Boru Bridge, near the Clayton Hotel, on Thursday or Friday, May 16 or 17, before being deposited on the city quays.
The two cranes will then be erected in the city centre at Merchant's Quay and Patrick’s Quay on Friday, May 17 with the superstructure lifted from the barge and placed on specially built abutment supports the following day - subject to weather conditions.
Lord Mayor Mick Finn said the installation will be a historic moment in the city’s history.
“After a vibrant public consultation process, Cork City Council voted to name this new piece of city infrastructure as the Mary Elmes Bridge, often described as the Irish Oskar Schindler for her heroism during World War II. This new bridge will be one of the key elements in a plan to promote and develop transport in and around the city. The installation of the bridge itself will be a historic moment for the city and I encourage people to turn up and view it from the river banks."
Pedestrian access in the vicinity of the works will be facilitated where possible. To facilitate the public’s safe viewing of the bridge lift, pedestrian railings will be put in place.
Traffic diversions will begin on Merchants Quay and St Patrick’s Quay from 10pm on the Friday night as the cranes are erected. It’s expected that the bridge installation will be completed and the cranes removed the following day.
The bridge spans 66m across the River Lee. Its buttresses contain 148 metres of concrete and 24 tonnes of steel. The bridge superstructure consists of 165 tonnes of steel plate which form a central spine beam with cantilevered steel deck.
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. Below deck feature lighting will also be used to highlight the spine beam.