PARK ROAD BRIDGE – OVER THE PARK CANAL IN LIMERICK
Over a five years I have tried to photograph all the bridges in Limerick City but for various reasons I did not locate Park Road Bridge until 2017. I was not 100% sure that it still existed mainly because a local had told me that it had been demolished which just goes to prove that one cannot always depend on local knowledge.
The false information may be due to the fact that the curve or height of the hump was reduced in 1960 in order to allow cars pass over the bridge. The bridge was originally configured to allow the passage of canal boats.
A new bridge crossing of the canal will be constructed to the east of the current Park Road Bridge. This new bridge will connect Lower Park Road with Park Road, facilitating two-way traffic flow. Vehicle traffic on South Canal Road will change from the current one-way system to a two-way system with the carriageway being widened accordingly. The existing Park Road Bridge will be retained as a pedestrian and cycle facility and the existing traffic lights at this location will be removed.
The proposed works also include for new road surfacing and the installation of LED public lighting as well as surface water drainage. Accommodation works will be undertaken as required.
The Park Canal was constructed in 1757-1758, linking the River Shannon with the Abbey River. In its heyday it was an important transport route for heavy goods. The goods were transported from Limerick to Shannon, and then on to Dublin via the Grand Canal. It took four days for the goods to reach Dublin. Due to the increase in road transport and the building of the hydroelectric power station at Ardnacrusha in 1929, the canal became non-viable and fell into disrepair.
In 2004 A five-year scheme to reopen the former Limerick Park Canal linking the city’s university area to the Shannon was announced. The Park Canal restoration is a major part of the overall Limerick Riverside City project, which sets out a vision for a new zone of development in Limerick city and its hinterland, based around the Abbey river and canal.
On a wall near the bridge there is a stone plaque that reads as follows: “Site Of Pennywell House The Home Of The Harrold Family”. I cannot find any information relating the specific house or family.