14 March 2018
By Elaine Murphy
Cork City Council, in conjunction with Transport Infrastructure Ireland, is seeking to place new public lighting, which takes inspiration from Cork’s former tramway, on the refurbished St Patrick’s Bridge.
The three lighting columns and lanterns are needed to ensure sufficient lighting on the bridge for road traffic.
As these works are a material change to a heritage structure, the Council is seeking permission to proceed under Part 8 of the Planning & Development Regulations.
From 1898 to 1931, the Cork Electric Tramways and Lighting Company operated a passenger tramway service which crossed over St. Patrick’s Bridge. Tramway poles were located adjacent to each tramline and were used to transfer electricity from overhead cables to the electric motor of the tram. Poles often included a top lighting beacon to help illuminate the transport route.
Cork City Council Senior Executive Engineer, Daniel O’Sullivan said: “St Patrick’s Bridge is representative of 19th century design and construction and its €1.2 million 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”.
Tenders were issued by Cork City Council recently for phase two of the St Patrick’s Bridge works, the major element of the project. It’s expected work will commence in May. Phase one involved the removal of heritage lighting for restoration.
This second phase of the works 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 masonry joints. Proposed works also include the replacement of the footpath and road surfacing and new road markings.
It is expected that the refurbished St. Patrick’s Bridge will be completed by mid October.