Cork's newest bridge to be lowered into place next month

Cork's newest bridge to be lowered into place next month
An artist impression of the Mery Elmes pedestrian-and-cycle bridge over the northern channel of the Lee.

TWO cranes, two tugboats, and a barge will be used to put Cork’s new-est bridge into place next month.

After months of planning and a lively public debate about its name, Mary Elmes Bridge is to be installed in mid-May.

The bridge will link Merchant’s Quay to Patrick’s Quay at Harley Street and is expected to cut journey times for 11,000 pedestrians and cyclists daily.

Preparatory works have been ongoing for some time on the quays and City Hall officials report that the bridge abutments on both sides are now complete.

A view of the Mary Elmes pedestrian bridge that will cross from Merchant's Quay to Harley Street and Patrick's Quay.
A view of the Mary Elmes pedestrian bridge that will cross from Merchant's Quay to Harley Street and Patrick's Quay.

The bridge superstructure was fabricated by Thompsons of Carlow but is now undergoing final work in Cobh.

“It was transported from Carlow to Cobh in nine sections via escorted overnight transportation,” said John Stapleton, senior executive engineer in the roads design division.

“It is currently being assembled in Doyle’s shipping yard opposite the Cobh train station.

“The structure has now been fully assembled; however, the contractors have yet to complete the installation of lighting, the completion of bridge surfacing, weld certification/testing etc.”

Putting the bridge into place will be a mammoth task that is scheduled for mid-May.

“We plan to lift the bridge onto a large barge during the week commencing Monday, May the 13th,” said Mr Stapleton.

A view of the Mary Elmes Bridge.
A view of the Mary Elmes Bridge.

“The bridge will be lifted onto the barge using the combined lifting power of two cranes (a 500-tonne crane and a 750-tonne crane).

“The barge will then be transported upriver with the assistance of two tugboats over the course of the following week.

“The barge and bridge structure will pass under Brian Boru Bridge on Thursday, the 16th, or Friday, the 17th of May.

“The bridge will be lifted from the barge and landed onto the abutments by the same two cranes during the weekend of the 18th and 19th of May.”

The bridge is named after Cork woman Mary Elmes, known as the Irish Oskar Schindler,
The bridge is named after Cork woman Mary Elmes, known as the Irish Oskar Schindler,

Some traffic diversions will have to be put in place during the bridge lift and the contractors plan to install pedestrian railings so that the lift can be safely viewed by the public.

“We expect to have the bridge fully open by the end of June,” added Mr Stapleton.

City councillors chose to name the bridge after Cork woman Mary Elmes, known as the Irish Oskar Schindler, who helped save Jewish children from the Nazis during World War II.

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