This month, construction of the Harley’s Street Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge will begin in Cork. The project is expected to cost €5 million and will link the city centre to the Victorian Quarter, which includes the area around Mac Curtain St.
At the time of its completion, the bridge is expected to provide more convenient travel for some 11,000 cyclists and pedestrians each day.
“Thanks to the work of the bridge designers ARUP & Wilkinson Eyre Architects, the new bridge will fit sympathetically with the surrounding quays, buildings and city centre environment while maintaining views along the river, Shandon, and the northern suburbs,” said Lord May, Cllr Mick Finn. “It will give the river the elegant crossing that it deserves.”
The bridge’s construction contract has been awarded to L & M Keating Contractors by Cork County Council. L & M Keating have completed both national and international projects. Some of their recent local endeavors include redevelopment work on St. Angela’s College on St. Patrick’s Hill and Perrott’s Inch Pedestrian Bridge at University College Cork.
Although the bridge itself will be constructed off site by Thompsons of Carlow between this month and February 2019, construction activity on site will include set up and management of underground utilities.
Upon completion of the actual bridge, the sections will be taken to the lower harbour for assembly. A barge will transport the finished product to the city centre via the river. The river journey will be timed to coincide with proper tide levels to ensure easy passage under Brian Boru Bridge. The new bridge is expected to arrive at its final destination in April 2019.
In order to prevent as much inconvenience as possible, the bridge will be crane-lifted into position overnight. Both quays will have to be closed while the operation is carried out.
Some traffic changes are expected to be underway while the bridge supports, called abutments, are being secured. These changes will last until October 2019. According to Cork City Council, the following changes will be in effect:
- Two lanes of traffic will be maintained on St. Patrick’s Quay with minor restrictions for bus and private parking to facilitate traffic flow around the bridge site.
- Three traffic lanes will be maintained in the vicinity of the bridge supports on Merchant’s Quay. Two westbound lanes (one bus lane and one general traffic lane) plus one eastbound lane will be in operation for the early stages of construction with the remaining traffic restrictions lifted as soon as possible.