Clydesdale bridge projects progressing

Work is progressing on three Clydesdale bridges, closed by South Lanarkshire Council amid public safety fears.

Friday, 16th April 2021, 4:00 pm
Piling rig is now on-site at the Ponfeigh Bridge site in Douglas Water, with work being carried out by I&H Brown Ltd.

Ponfeigh, Clyde and Cleghorn Bridges were all forced to close, after being deemed too dangerous.

However, South Lanarkshire Council roads department reported this week that work is now moving apace.

Progress has been steady on each of the three projects, despite the difficulties posed by the pandemic.

Gordon Mackay, the council’s head of roads and transportation, said: “We fully understand the inconvenience and disruption that projects and closures like these have on communities.

"I would like to assure everyone that we are working hard to conclude them as soon as we possibly can.

“These three bridges were forced to close for the safety of their users and we are now looking forward to when each can re-open as fit for use and are able to bring back the benefits that they offer to their local communities.”

The construction of the new Ponfeigh Bridge at Douglas Water began in February this year and contractors I & H Brown now have work well underway on the pilings, as can be seen from the aerial image.

Once complete, the bridge will have a span of 36m. The new superstructure is expected to be launched into position in July.

Work is also progressing on two other bridge projects currently being undertaken by the council.

In the case of the project to provide a replacement for Clyde Bridge, on Pettinain Road south of Carstairs Junction, the design phase is now complete and the tendering process for the construction work is underway.

Gordon said: “The purchase of some of the land required to allow the new bridge to be built has already been completed.

"If the voluntary negotiations relating to the outstanding sections of land are successful in the next few months, construction should start in the latter part of the year and last for around 12 months.”

The new structure will have a span of 90m and will be supported on new reinforced-concrete abutments.

Cleghorn Bridge suffered further deterioration when freezing and then thawing in January caused masonry to break away.

The council’s contractor, Covanburn Contracts Ltd, had already been engaged to undertake planned repairs. To minimise any further deterioration, work started on January 13.

The initial efforts focused on the controlled dismantling of unstable masonry and a strategy was formed that adapted the original scope of the programmed work to take account of the additional repairs.

Gordon added: “A reinforced-concrete prefabricated arch will be installed on new foundations on the riverbed adjacent to the original bridge abutments and, once the new arch is in position, it will be used as a base to reinstate the original bridge arch.

“Work is progressing well enough that the new reinforced-concrete arch is expected to be installed towards the end of this month, with completion of the project programmed for this summer.”