Waterford County Bridges

A richly significant engineering and social history attaches itself to the subject of bridges in Waterford. It is both surprising and noteworthy, for example, that no bridge existed in Waterford City until 1794. 'Timbertoes' as the first structure was affectionately known, was constructed some thirteen years after a failed proposal by Thomas Covey outlined in A scheme for building a bridge over the river Suire at the city of Waterford (Waterford, 1770).

The 'John Redmond Bridge' was inaugurated in 1913, and was the replacement bridge for 'Timbertoes'. The story of this period is comprehensively covered in Edmund Downey's Waterford's Bridges (Waterford, [193?]). The 'John Redmond Bridge' lasted only seventy years however, and work commenced on the modern bridge in 1982, eventually opening opening to traffic in 1986.

Lismore Bridge, dating from 1775, and pre-dating the timber bridge in Waterford, is a particularly fine example of an Irish Stone bridge. Built on the estate of the Duke of Devonshire beneath the castle, at the time of its construction no roads existed leading to or from it. Widely represented in images illustrating both bridge and Lismore castle, its wide span and picturesque location lend it unique importance.

The construction history of the bridge in Dungarvan, built in 1813 with financial aid fro the Duke of Devonshire, is illustrative of the social and political expediency that dictated the planning and financing of projects like that in Dungarvan.

Cappoquin's bridge, built in 1847 after many earlier plans were abandoned, was finally only commissioned due to the requirements of the Famine Relief Act. This bridge was a successor to the strategically and historically important wooden bridge that existed since the early 16th century.

Next - Waterford City Bridgesnext