THE second phase of works on the restoration of St Patrick’s Bridge is due to commence before the end of the month, with new cast iron lanterns due to be delivered from Italy to Cork in the coming weeks.
Work began on the bridge in February 2018, with the project including the removal and refurbishment of the heritage lamps, as well as the general cleaning and upgrading of the structure itself.
City Hall’s director of roads, Gerry O’Beirne, presented a report to councillors this week, detailing the extent of the works.
The report noted that the first phase of works is close to completion with phase two, which includes ‘repair, restoration and renewal’ of the bridge structure is to begin from late June onwards.
In February, the lamps were removed from the bridge and dispatched to Neri, Northern Italy. for repair and restoration, with several duplicates also being cast. Upon completion, 12 will be installed on the bridge with new lantern heads and LED fittings.
They will be remounted under phase 2 of the works in their original positions as when the bridge was first constructed.
These are due for delivery to Cork City Council by the end of the month.
Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy welcomed the progress report, describing the bridge as ‘a key landmark and a crucial piece of infrastructure in the city.’
He said: “The bridge opened in 1861 and is representative of 19th-century design and construction. Its restoration must be sympathetic to these values as well as to its unique heritage and historical importance. I am looking forward to seeing the return of the lamp standards.
“It is also important that the three elliptical ashlar limestone arches are checked and repaired. They have some really beautiful carved keystones of St Patrick, St Bridget, Neptune and three sea goddesses, as well as carved limestone balustrades and V-shaped cutwaters to the upstream and downstream elevations.”
Phase 2 of the restoration project will be overseen by Cumnor Construction Ltd.
It involves the removal of all vegetation and algae from the stonework, the repair and replacement of damaged or missing sections of the stonework.
Work will also include upgrading footpaths and kerbstones, the replacement of traffic signals, the repainting of pedestrian railing barriers, waterproofing the reinforced concrete slab and the addition of new lighting.