It’s been a long time since a passenger tram crossed St Patrick’s Bridge.
However, a new addition to the restoration currently underway will see the city’s electric tramway remembered for years to come.
Cork City Council, in conjunction with Transport Infrastructure Ireland, is seeking to install new public lighting inspired by Cork’s former tramway on the newly refurbished St Patrick’s Bridge.
The lamp columns or ‘standards’ on St Patrick’s Bridge were removed last month and sent to Italy to be repaired and restored.
Now it has been decided that 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 Planning & Development Regulations.
Here’s what the finished effect will look like…
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, located adjacent to each tramline, were used to transfer electricity from overhead cables to the electric motor of the tram.
These poles often included a top lighting beacon to help illuminate the route.
“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” said Cork City Council Senior Executive Engineer, Daniel O’Sullivan.
“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”.
Phase two of the St Patrick’s Bridge works will commence in May and involves the removal of all vegetation and algae from the bridge, the cleaning and repair of stonework and the re-pointing of 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.