Work to install a new railway bridge at Ravenscraig as part of a £16.9m investment from North Lanarkshire Council and Glasgow City Region City Deal has been hailed as a “significant moment” in ambitious plans to develop North Lanarkshire.
Engineers worked around-the-clock on “Europe’s largest concrete structure lift” for nine days on the West Coast Mainline (WCML) - including the Easter weekend - to move the new 5,000-tonne bridge into position.
Network Rail and STORY Contracting have been working since May 2022 to construct the enormous concrete structure at a compound next to the WCML - and had a tight window of opportunity to move it into position over Easter.
The new bridge deck was installed on April 4 after engineers had excavated over 36,000 tonnes of material from the railway embankment to create space for the new structure.
Once in position, the structure was built into the embankment and over the Easter weekend the overhead line equipment and track were reinstated before tamping compacted the new ballast under the railway track.
The bridge enables North Lanarkshire Council to construct a new dual carriageway, with pedestrian and cycle paths from Airbles Road/Windmillhill Street to Robberhall Road, as part of a wider investment to open the area for future development.
Councillor Paul Kelly, deputy leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said the new road would boost the economy, provide new well-paid jobs and allow “so many other exciting developments to take place”.
“I’d like to congratulate everyone involved,” he said.
Jeremy Spence, senior programme manager for Network Rail, said: “The successful delivery of this project took many months of meticulous planning and preparation, followed by a huge effort by those on-site working to construct the bridge.
“By working collaboratively with Story Contracting and North Lanarkshire Council, we have been able to make sure we seamlessly delivered the work over the crucial last nine days.
“I would also like to thank the local community for the patience they have shown throughout the work.”
John MacArthur, managing director of Story Contracting (Scotland), said: “The successful delivery of Europe’s largest concrete structure lift at Ravenscraig is a significant milestone for Story Contracting and testament to the hard work and dedication of the team and our supply chain partners.
“This project showcases our commitment to excellence and our ability to collaborate as Scotland’s Railway to deliver high-quality solutions.
“I am extremely proud of everyone involved in bringing this ambitious project to life.”
More information on the bridge work is available on Network Rail’s project page.
Further information on the project is available from North Lanarkshire Council.