A competition was held for the design of a bridge to span the gap between Cloghane Island and the cliffs. On October 18th 1907 sanction was given for the erection of a footbridge to be built by Messrs Thorne and Co. at a cost of £1272. It was unusual because it was a very early design made of reinforced concrete. This had a longer lifespan than steel in the salty fog and sea spray. It is 52.426m (172’) across x 45.72m (150’) above sea level. The aggregate for the concrete was obtained from the hard local sandstone and even the sand was crushed from the same rock. The ‘skins’ of the four ribs were cast on the cliffside and slung into position by means of a cableway. Then the cores of the ribs, the crown of the arch and the pathway were cast in situ. The construction started in 1908 and was completed in March 1910. The Bridge had lasted nearly one hundred years when engineers surveying it discovered that a laser beam would not pass unimpeded through the length of the Bridge. This meant that somewhere the reinforcing steel had anaerobically disintegrated. They could not certify that the Bridge was safe. It was closed overnight in February 2005.
In June 2005 a scaffold was erected across and above the Bridge to allow the Signal Station to stay open. The scaffolding had a lifespan of 3-5 years. After years of anxious campaigning to raise the huge funding needed for a new Bridge, Fáilte Ireland, Cork County Council and the Commissioners of Irish Lights agreed to build a new Bridge in June 2008.
The original Bridge was demolished and reconstructed from October 2009- December 2010. It was opened by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar T.D. in August 2011.
The story of the demolition and reinstatement of the Bridge is in the files at the end of this page. There is more about the Bridge in this guide at ALO1.
Adult: €7.50 | Senior/Student: €6
Child under 14: €4.50 | Child under 5: Free
Group & Family Deals
Family (2 Adults and up to 4 Children): €25
Groups (10 and over): Adults: €6.50 | Senior/Student: €5 | Child 5-14: €3.50