Four companies bid to restore 19th century lamps on Sarsfield Bridge

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

LIMERICK City Council has received four bids for the conservation of the 19th century lamp standards on Sarsfield Bridge.

LIMERICK City Council has received four bids for the conservation of the 19th century lamp standards on Sarsfield Bridge.

The Council launched a tendering process for the specialist restoration works in November and Mayor Jim Long said the fruits of that competition would become known this week.

“We will be opening the tenders on Wednesday morning. The work not necessarily always but in 99 per cent of cases will go to the lowest bidder as long as they can comply with the conditions of the contract,” said the mayor.

No value for the contract is detailed on the government’s etenders website but Vincent Murray, senior engineer, estimated it could cost in the region of €100,000 to restore the antique lamp standards.

Former city councillor Sean Griffin has complained that many of the lights no longer function and it is believed that no significant work has been carried out on the lamp standards for almost 40 years.

But Mayor Long now expects that the works - which will see the lamps removed for restoration - will go ahead this year.

“I’m glad to see this work is a step closer to going ahead and the lamps will be restored. They are of great heritage value to our city,” said the mayor.

Apparently modelled on the Pont Neuilly in Paris, Sarsfield Bridge was known as Wellesley Bridge when it opened to the public in 1835. It was designed by Scottish master engineer Alexander Nimmo, who was also responsible for harbours and piers around the Irish coast.

Mr Griffin has described the bridge as one of Limerick’s “architectural gems”. Restoring the lamp standards to their former glory, he said, could also see the removal of the string-of-pearl light fixtures on the bridge.

Described by Mr Griffin as “an eyesore”, this lighting has also been blamed for swans crashing on to the bridge and ending up in the two lanes of traffic.