Funds secured for Clydesdale bridge replacement

South Lanarkshire Council has secured additional funding for a major project to replace a Clydesdale bridge.

Funds secured for Clydesdale bridge replacement

Work on the new Ponfeigh Bridge, which opened last year

Clyde Bridge, which is on Pettinain Road, south of Carstairs Junction, had to be closed in late 2018 after significant defects were picked up during a routine inspection.

Despite unavoidable delays and increasing costs, the council repeatedly committed to completing the work - most recently last month, when council leader John Ross pledged a way would be found to deal with these issues.

Councillor Ross said: “I am delighted to confirm that we are now much closer to the start of work to replace this crossing, and if everything falls into place with the rest of the project then I would hope work could start this Spring and may be completed about a year later.

“I know this will come as a major relief for local residents, but once completed it will also reopen an important route used by many people.

“Last month I made it clear that this council would not break its promise, and everyone can now see that this is true. Yes, there have been delays, but no-one has been more frustrated by these delays than me and members of the council administration.

“The rising costs were a significant hurdle – one that we had no control over and which are being faced by every construction project in the country. So, it has taken a lot of work, and I am grateful to council officers who have gone the extra mile to get us to this position.”

The delays included lengthy negotiations to purchase land necessary for the project, which have now been concluded. In addition, a range of additional costs pushed up the budget, notably the global increase in the price of construction materials.

One of the ways the council was able to bridge the gap in funding was by reallocating £1.6m that had been previously identified to replace Ponfeigh Bridge, due to other funding being secured for that project. The new Ponfeigh Bridge opened last year.

With increased funding now in place, it has now been possible to progress to the next stage of the tender award process. This is the issue of a letter of acceptance, and the council now awaits the contractor’s agreement. Further details of the next stages of the project will be available in the coming weeks.

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