The repaired and restored Daly’s Bridge in Cork, known affectionately to generations as the shakey bridge, will reopen to the public on Saturday with its shake intact.
Engineers who oversaw the work on the last remaining suspension pedestrian bridge of its age and type in Ireland said they are delighted to have been able to retain the heritage structure’s famous quirk.
They used accelerometers to measure the frequency of the shake before the refurb started in late 2019 and measured the shake of the restored bridge, which includes new cables made in Italy, to ensure it wobbles at exactly the same rate.
Historian and independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy, who campaigned for years for the investment in the project, said he thinks people will be pleased.
“I think we’ve got added value to the shakeability of the shakey bridge,” he said.
“I think people will be very happy that it still shakes. I would invite people to come down to test it out. Don’t come in large numbers but do come down to see the refurb job.”
FF Cllr Tony Fitzgerald described it as a fabulous restoration project.
“It is also important for residents of Shanakiel and Sunday’s Well as a connection to Fitzgerald’s Park and to local schools,” he said.
The refurbishment and conservation works, which cost over €1.7m, were undertaken to address serious corrosion and extensive damage to the near 60m span 1927-built suspension bridge which links the Mardyke to Sunday’s Well and Shanakiel.
The work was funded by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and the National Transport Authority.
The bridge was formally re-opened on Thursday by the Lord Mayor, Cllr Joe Kavanagh, in a small Covid-19 compliant ceremony.
“I am delighted to re-open this bridge after works which will ensure it can be crossed and admired by many more generations of Corkonians,” he said.
“Its design, setting and high level of use have granted it a near iconic status amongst Cork people. Its ‘shakey’ quality, which may not have been originally intended, has contributed in no small way to this significance.”
Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said he was pleased that his department’s sustainable mobility investment programme was able to support its restoration.
“Over the next few years I expect to see more and more active travel infrastructure rolled out across Cork city and county as we look to build a more sustainable future for Corkonians of all ages,” he said.
City officials thanked the residents of Sunday’s Well and Shanakiel for their patience and support during the restoration project.
Jean Kearney, who lives in Sunday's Well, said the bridge has been part of her life since she was a child.
“When we were kids, playing in the park, we’d run across it, and now that I live in the area, I use it nearly every day. We have missed it, and we are looking forward to using it again,” she said.
Her granddaughter, Madeleine, a final year student of applied psychology in UCC, said she is also looking forward to bridge reopening.
“It will shave about 10-minutes off my walk to and from college. I can’t wait,” she said.