The €1.7m repair and restoration of the famous Shakey bridge in Cork is set to start within days.
City engineers have again insisted that they hope to retain as much as the historic bridge’s signature wobble as possible, although they will be replacing its suspension cables with new ones which are being made in Italy.
The near-60m span Daly’s pedestrian bridge, a single-span steel suspension bridge over the north channel of the River Lee, linking Sunday’s Well to Fitzgerald Park, was opened in 1927.
It is Cork’s only suspension bridge and Ireland’s only surviving pedestrian suspension bridge of its type and age.
However, it has been in a serious state of disrepair for several years, with fears expressed last year that it was close to collapse given the extensive corrosion damage.
City Hall has now confirmed that the repairs will start on August 12 and take until Easter 2020 to complete.
Its latticed deck will be dismantled in phases, loaded onto barges and transported to the southern river bank for removal by truck to specialist workshops off-site for grit-blasting, repair and repainting.
Its towers will be wrapped to protect the river, and then repaired and repainted in-situ before the suspension cables are replaced.
Vegetation and graffiti will be removed, the approach ramps will be upgraded, with new public lighting on the ramps and on the bridge itself planned.
The work will be overseen by Cork City Council and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.
The design team includes RPS Consulting Engineers, JCA Conservation Architects, based at Sunday’s Well Road, and Corrosion Solutions and Inspection Services from Dublin, with L&M Keating Ltd — who recently built the city’s Mary Elmes Bridge — appointed as the main contractors.
Daly’s Bridge was built in 1926 by David Rowell & Company of Westminster in London to a specification of Stephen W Farrington, the then Cork City Engineer, and opened the next year.
Built to replace an old ferry crossing at the location, the bridge takes its official name from Cork businessman James Daly, who contributed to the cost of construction.