NEW street lights, inspired by Cork’s historic tramline system, are to be installed on St Patrick’s Bridge as part of a €1.2 million makeover.
Cork City Council, in conjunction with Transport Infrastructure Ireland, is seeking to place new lighting on the refurbished bridge, with the project expected to be completed by mid-October.
Three lighting columns and lanterns are needed to ensure sufficient illumination on the busy roadway and are inspired, in design, by the operation of the Cork Electric Tramways passenger tram, which ran on the bridge from 1898 to 1931. These columns are in addition to the refurbishment and replacement of the 14 cast iron lights elsewhere on the bridge.
As the bridge is a protected heritage structure and the lights represent a change of material, City Hall is required to seek approval from councillors to proceed with the works under the part eight process.
Tenders were recently issued by Cork City Council for phase two of the St Patrick’s Bridge works, which is the more intensive element of the project.
It includes the removal of all vegetation and algae from the bridge, the cleaning and repair of all stonework and the re-pointing of missing or defective masony joints. Proposed works also include the replacement of the footpath and road surfacing, as well as the installation of new road markings.
It is expected that these works will commence in May.
The first phase involved the removal of heritage lighting for restoration. It included the removal of the four existing cast iron columns and lanterns on the bridge, replicating these and adding the duplicates to the bridge.
In total, there will be 14 columns, two of which will be kept in storage.
Cork City Council senior executive engineer Daniel O’Sullivan said: “St Patrick’s Bridge is representative of 19th century design and construction and its repair and restoration will be sympathetic to these values as well as to its unique heritage and historical importance.
“Cork City Council appointed a specialised multi-disciplinary design team, with environmental and conservation experience, to oversee the project.
“Best practice in conservation of heritage structures suggests that new components should not replicate old and a clear distinction should be provided between both.”