The first section of Cork's famous Shakey Bridge has been removed and will be transported off site for renovation.
The bridge is to undergo a €1.7m restoration project that will take eight months to complete.
This morning, engineers removed the first section of the bridge deck, using six winches to lower it onto a barge on the river.
The bridge towers on either bank will remain and be repaired in place while all other elements will be renovated off site.
The work is scheduled to be completed and the bridge reopened for Easter 2020.
The bridge, which is officially called Daly’s Bridge, is 93 years old. The 50.9m suspension structure has corrosion and other damage which has necessitated the work.
The work is being done by L&M Keating Ltd in conjunction with a design and construction team including RPS Consulting Engineers, JCA Conservation Architects, Corrosion Solutions and Inspection Services, and city council staff
Corkman and UCC engineering graduate David McCarthy is contracts manager with Keatings Construction.
“It's a difficult job, it's a unique enough type of project because there aren’t too many suspension bridges in the country and the opportunity doesn’t come up to often to do this type of work really.
“Taking the bridge down is the first step and it is good to get this far but there is a long road ahead to deliver this project really.”
Mr McCarthy said that the team of 12 to 15 expect to have most of the bridge down in a week.
“It will be taken off-site straight away to Nenagh to commence the refurbishment work on the metal sections, it will be blasted and refurbished and then repainted in the workshop also.”
The contracts manager said the most difficult part of the project is the logistics involved in dismantling, taking it down and the re-erection of the bridge.
“The fabrication and the painting and so on isn’t really that out of the way, but getting it in and out is the main challenge.
As a Corkman, Mr McCarthy said he was proud to be involved in the project.
The engineer also assured Corkonians the Shakey Bridge would still have a shake in it after completion of the work.
“It’s difficult to quantify the shake but the bridge will most definitely still have a shake after the refurbishment.
“It’s a suspension bridge so there will always be some movement by the nature of the structure.”
Mr McCarthy, who also worked on the recently completed Mary Elmes Bridge in the city said there is a lot of pressure associated with this type of public work, but he was confident in his team’s competency.
“There is pressure but we are well up to the challenge. We are used to operating in this sector and field.”
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