Daly’s Bridge in Cork, which is known locally as Shakey Bridge, is a local landmark that attracts visitors all year round. It’s the only suspension bridge that spans the River Lee and it’s been a favourite crossing for pedestrians since its construction in the 1920s.
However, much of the structure is made from wrought iron, which is now showing signs of corrosion.
As a result, a major restoration project costing an estimated €1.7 million is now underway. The Echo Live reported recently that the first section of the structure has been removed and taken away for restoration.
This work will all be conducted offsite, which means the bridge will need to be dismantled piece by piece. Engineers are using multiple winches to lower each section of the bridge to a barge waiting on the river, which will then transport it to shore where it can be taken away for repairs.
The bridge will remain closed until Easter 2020, when the city plans to reopen the walkway.
But not all elements of the bridge can be removed. The news provider explained that the towers on either bank will stay in situ and work will be conducted on site to repair them.
L&M Keating Ltd is working alongside a team of experts to carry out the restoration of the historic structure.
David McCarthy, contracts manager at Keatings Construction, told the news provider that it’s a difficult job because of the structure of the bridge.
“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 too often to do this type of work really,” he said. Mr McCarthy also revealed that the biggest challenge is dismantling and reerecting the structure once the work has been completed.
While Daly’s Bridge is made from wrought iron, many bridges also have issues with steel corrosion. The material is widely used in bridge construction and although it’s known for its durable nature, precautions need to be taken to ensure that it is looked after and kept free from corrosion.
A variety of factors can contribute to bridge corrosion, including salt water, high humidity, extreme weather and chloride-based compounds that are used to melt ice and snow in cold regions, Bridge Masters Inc revealed.
Corrosion can affect bridges in a range of ways, impacting different components, but fundamentally the biggest problem is that it weakens the structure and can lead to it becoming unsafe.
Hammersmith Bridge in London is just one that’s currently undergoing repairs as a result of corrosion. In this case, the corrosion has affected the structure’s bearings, which have seized up. Transport Network also reported that hairline fractures had started to appear in the iron casings around the bridge’s pedestals too.
The refurbishment of this river crossing could take up to three years and cost £120 million, the news provider added.
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