Leading Italian restorers returning Cork lamps to their former glory

Leading Italian restorers returning Cork lamps to their former glory

Renowned lighting restoration specialists at Neri Spa in Italy working on the columns from St Patrick's Bridge in Cork. The columns are being returned to their original unpainted bare metal state and weather damage repaired before they will be protected and painted. Pic: Cork City Council

WORK is continuing in Italy to repair and restore historic lighting columns from Cork’s St Patrick’s Bridge as part of a €1.2m project.

Funding has been approved for repairs to St Patrick’s Bridge, the Shakey Bridge (Daly’s Bridge), and St Vincent’s Bridge which links the North Mall to Bachelor’s Quay.

In February work began on the repair of the iconic St. Patrick’s Bridge. The four existing lamp columns on the bridge were removed and an additional four standards, that were in storage, were sent to Italy for restoration by lighting specialists, Neri. Moulds will also be created to make duplicate columns.

A computer-generated view of how the restored St Patrick's Bridge will look.
A computer-generated view of how the restored St Patrick's Bridge will look.

Cork City Council, in conjunction with Transport Infrastructure Ireland, have appointed SSE Airtricity to oversee the project.

Upon completion, the 12 restored/replicated standards will be returned to the bridge in September.

Another phase of the project involves 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

The lights on St Patrick's Bridge prior to their removal.Pictures: Des Barry
The lights on St Patrick's Bridge prior to their removal.Pictures: Des Barry

masonry joints.

Proposed works also include the replacement of the footpath and carriageway surfacing and new road markings. Existing traffic lights, elevation, and architectural lighting and directional signage will also be upgraded.

All work to St. Patrick’s Bridge will be completed by mid-October.

Contractors are due to be appointed for critical maintenance work on St Vincent’s Bridge, which connects the North Mall and Sunday’s Well to the junction of Bachelor’s Quay and Grenville Place.

Detailed design to assure the continued usage of this bridge is being progressed. Lighting on the bridge will also be improved.

Refurbishment works will also begin on the iconic Daly’s Bridge in September to rectify extensive corrosion and damage.

A report on the bridge’s condition uncovered significant damage due to corrosion noting that some strands in the suspension cable were broken, caused by pedestrians shaking the bridge. The inspection was carried out in December 2016 and the report recommended that repair work be carried out within a year.

Short-term works have rendered the bridge secure, though engineers are recommending a long-term solution now be undertaken.

The report recommends large crowds due to events such as marathons be banned from using the bridge.

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