Steady progress made on new Clydesdale bridges

Work to improve transport in Clydesdale is pressing ahead, bringing the reopening of three important bridges ever closer.

Work on the new Ponfeigh Bridge

Ponfeigh, Clyde and Cleghorn Bridges had been forced to be closed after becoming dangerous for users.

All three projects involve major work – including the building of completely new bridges in two of the cases – but progress has been steady despite the difficulties posed by the pandemic.

The construction of the new Ponfeigh Bridge began in February this year and contractors I & H Brown now have work well under way on the pilings.

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

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.

The purchase of some of the land required to allow the new bridge to be built has already been completed and, if the voluntary negotiations relating to the outstanding sections of land are successful in the next few months, construction would start in the latter part of this year and last for around 12 months.

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

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

South Lanarkshire Council’s contractor Covanburn Contracts Ltd had already been engaged to undertake the planned repairs and, to minimise any further deterioration, started work on January 13.

The initial efforts were focussed 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.

A reinforced concrete prefabricated arch will be installed on new foundations constructed 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.

The 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.

Gordon Mackay, head of roads and transportation at South Lanarkshire Council, said: “We fully understand the inconvenience and disruption that projects and closures like these have on communities and I would assure everyone that we are working hard to conclude them as soon as we possibly can.

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

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