Mabey Bridge to provide new permanent structure to link Outer Hebrides islands

Modular bridging specialist Mabey Bridge has been selected to design and install a 99-metre span bridge to link the islands of Great Bernera and Lewis in the Western Isles.

Scotland’s first Delta bridge will replace a crossing found deteriorated at inspection in August 2020 and immediately closed to traffic over 7.5 tonnes.

The original Bernera Bridge was built in 1953 and is believed to be the first pre-stressed concrete road bridge in the United Kingdom. The vital transport corridor connecting the two islands crosses Loch Roag, a fast-flowing inlet of the Atlantic.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar ordered Mabey Bridge’s single-span Delta bridge to be installed on a permanent basis. It will provide safe access to vehicles up to 44 tonnes across a width of 4.2 metres, including a 1.05-metre pedestrian walkway. Unique among modular steel bridges, the Delta is available in clear spans up to 100 metres, which alleviates the need for intermediate piers. The advantage of fewer piers is quicker, easier installation than other construction methods, which is a significant advantage, particularly in time-critical projects such as this. Additionally, with less construction in the water, there is less potential for disturbances or damage to aquatic habitats and local ecology.

Michael Treacy, CEO Mabey Bridge, said: “We’re delighted to be supplying the first Delta bridge to Scotland, and proud to have been selected to take part in this important project to restore a vital crossing to the benefit of the residents of Great Bernera. The Delta is unique in that it offers the longest modular steel span available in the market, making it an ideal high-quality solution for a wide range of applications where speed of installation is crucial.”

The Delta bridge in Scotland is expected to be completed in summer 2021.

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