Planning permission is being sought to install new street lights, inspired by Cork’s historic tram system, on the city’s landmark St Patrick’s Bridge as part of a €1.2m refurbishment project.

Three new lighting columns and lanterns are required on the eastern side to improve the road lighting, a spokesperson for Cork City Council confirmed last night.

Because the works are a material change to a heritage structure, the council needs permission from councillors to proceed under the Part 8 process.

From 1898 to 1931, the Cork Electric Tramways and Lighting Company operated a passenger tramway service which crossed St Patrick’s Bridge.

Tramway poles which were installed alongside the tramlines, which transferred electricity from overhead cables to the tram motors, often included a top lighting beacon to help illuminate the tram route.

The proposed new street lights have been designed to reflect these historic structures. Work began earlier this year to restore the bridge to its former glory.

Italian lighting restoration specialists, Neri, removed the bridge’s striking lanterns, for transport, along with four others in storage, to Italy for repair and restoration.

They are due to be reinstalled on the bridge later in the year.

Tenders were issued recently for the second phase of the restoration project which involves the removal of all vegetation and algae from the bridge, the cleaning and repair of all stonework and the repointing of missing or defective masonry joints.

This work is due to start in May with the entire project set to be completed by mid-October.

Senior executive engineer Daniel O’Sullivan said the entire project will be sympathetic to the bridge’s unique heritage and historical importance.


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