Only the eagle-eyed will notice.
The lamp columns or ‘standards’ on St Patrick’s Bridge are to be removed on Monday so they can be sent to Italy to be repaired and restored.
Cork City Council, in conjunction with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), is to begin works on the iconic 19th century bridge next week and the lamp columns will be transported along with an additional four standards, currently in storage, to have their first facelift since the bridge opened on December 12th, 1861.
The restoration will be sympathetic to the unique heritage and historical importance of the bridge and it is expected that the €1.2 million works will have minimal impact on pedestrian and traffic movement.
The work will be undertaken in two phases; SSE Airtricity Utility Solutions Ltd. has been selected by Cork City Council to undertake phase one preliminary works and they have appointed renowned Italian lighting restoration specialists, Neri to complete the project. Neri has worked extensively in Dublin including on lighting restoration at O’Connell Bridge.
According to Cork City Council, the project will involve “returning the columns to their original unpainted bare metal state, repairing weather damage, protecting and repainting the standards.”
As part of this process, moulds will also be created to make additional duplicate columns. The 12 restored or replicated standards will be returned to the bridge in September complete with new lantern heads with LED fittings, where they will be remounted as they were when the bridge was first built.
In the interim period, six standard temporary lighting columns will be put in place to help illuminate the footpaths at night.
Cork City Council is in the process of issuing a tender for phase two of the works which it expects will begin in early May. This 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.
Existing traffic lights, elevation and architectural lighting and directional signage will also be upgraded.
It is expected that all works to St. Patrick’s Bridge will be completed by mid October, with further improvements due to be carried out on St Vincent’s Bridge, which connects the North Mall and Sunday’s Well to the junction of Bachelor’s Quay and Grenville Place, and Daly’s Bridge.
It’s all go in the city at the moment but it’s nice to know our built heritage is being carefully protected.
Image: The Illustrated London News