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Major Award for Sligo Engineer

Major Award for Sligo Engineer
Major Award for Sligo Engineer

A major national award has been won by a local chartered engineer, Gary Salter, Senior Executive Engineer with Sligo County Council, who has been presented with Engineers Ireland, Excellence Award in the Heritage and Conservation category for his work on Culfadda Bridge. The Awards are sponsored by the Office of Public Works and the presentation ceremony was held in the InterContinental Hotel Dublin.

A major national award has been won by a local chartered engineer, Gary Salter, Senior Executive Engineer with Sligo County Council, who has been presented with Engineers Ireland, Excellence Award in the Heritage and Conservation category for his work on Culfadda Bridge. The Awards are sponsored by the Office of Public Works and the presentation ceremony was held in the InterContinental Hotel Dublin.

The Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Councillor Hubert Keaney congratulated Mr Salter on the award, and said ‘It is indicative if the high level expertise and experience available in-house in the Council. Right across the main service areas, the professionalism and dedication of our staff have been a major asset for his Authority, particularly at a time when staff resources have been seriously reduced. Gary Salter’s exemplary work in the area of Bridge conservation is widely acknowledged, and this national recognition is well deserved.’

Project

The citation associated with the Award outlined the nature of the project; ‘Culfadda bridge in South Sligo carries unrestricted traffic loading. The significant masonry structure dates from pre 1800 and is over 80m long. The current single span (15’ 6”) segmental arch element dates from circa 1840 and replaces the former two spanned arch bridge. The retaining walls are propped by buttresses.
Many structural components were defective and extensive work was necessary. The finished product has been well received by the local community and enhances the village and its environment. The repair is to a high standard in terms of aesthetics and appropriate material and workmanship.’

Background to awards

The Heritage and Conservation Award is open to Engineering organisations or engineers for excellence in design or delivery of a project which conserves a historic property or protected structure. The purpose of the award is to acknowledge the contribution of the engineering profession in protecting the built environment by preserving or restoring a building or location of historic importance.

Culfadda bridge works.

The work on the structure required a wide variety of competencies to address the defects and deficiencies of the structure in an appropriate manner. The upstream portion of the arch had separated for the body of the arch, several parts of the extensive wing walls were leaning outwards to a disturbing extent, buttresses constructed at various times in the past were in different stages of collapse and the original eighteenth century bridge had been replaced by a new arch in c1840. The bulk of the parapets were also defective. A variety of repairs, structural interventions and reconstructions were necessary and conservation principles were the core principle.

Project team

Sligo County Council wishes to acknowledge and thank civil engineering main contractor, Mullane Plant Hire Ltd and particularly Garry Mullane for his cooperation and flexibility when changes were necessary after unearthing certain problems and Sean Waters the masonry sub contractors for persevering to achieve a high standard of traditional masonry finish required and of course for taking down and reconstructing part of the main arch and over elements. Chartered Engineer, Dessie Sloyan of Sligo County Council was involved throughout in the project and his contribution is acknowledged and appreciated.

Expertise

Director of Services Tom Kilfeather said that this award to Gary recognised his long standing commitment and dedication to the protection and enhancement of this type of Infrastructure that is a much undervalued part of our Heritage. “This Bridge was built two centuries ago and the work undertaken now under the expert guidance and management of Gary will ensure that this asset will continue to be part of our landscape for hundreds of years more. Gary has done similar work with many other Bridges across the County in his long career with the Council and he is recognised nationally as an expert in these type conservation works”.

Corporate Services
11th November 2016