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Daily Record
Daily Record
Ross Thomson

Joint project to fix Lanarkshire bridge receives top award

A joint project developed by Network Rail and North Lanarkshire Council to fix a troublesome Lanarkshire bridge has been recognised.

The project secured the Infrastructure Award for Rail at the recent CECA Scotland (Civil Engineering Contractors Association) for the work carried out on the Bellside Bridge in Cleland.

The bridge, which carries the Glasgow Central to Edinburgh Waverley via Shotts line over the A73 Carlisle Road, had been the most frequently struck bridge in Scotland and the seventh most struck in the UK.

In the decade prior to the work being undertaken, there were 56 strike incidents with associated train delays, disruption to passengers and traffic being diverted through Cleland village.

Network Rail, Story Contracting and designer AECOM, undertook an eight-week programme in August 2021 to replace the existing bridge deck with a thinner one, providing additional headroom under the structure.

Stewart Lothian, Network Rail’s structures asset manager for Scotland, said: “Congratulations to the team who delivered the bridge work.

"I’m delighted their achievement has been so deservedly recognised at this year’s CECA Scotland Awards by their industry peers.

“By lifting the structure more than a metre to over 5.2 metres headroom, this vital engineering work removed its classification as a low bridge and also the need for a signed diversion route through Cleland village for high sided vehicles.

“In the year since the work was completed, the outcome continues to have a hugely positive impact on the local road network and the railway, significantly improving reliability and safety for road and rail users alike.”

Councillor Helen Loughran, convener of the environment and climate change committee at North Lanarkshire Council, added: “Raising the height of the deck at Bellside Bridge was a complex project for the council and Network Rail, which has delivered significant road safety improvements for residents and businesses in Cleland and beyond.

“Congratulations to everyone involved in this partnership project.”

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