Story Contracting to manage construction of rail crossing at Ravenscraig

North Lanarkshire Council has agreed a £16.9 million agreement with Network Rail for a new bridge crossing the West Coast Main Line as part of work to upgrade the road connections between Motherwell and Ravenscraig.

A new dual carriageway will be built from a new signalised roundabout at Airbles Road/Windmillhill Street to Robberhall Road at the Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility. The bridge will be constructed to lift the railway line over the new road.

Network Rail and its appointed contractor Story Contracting will manage the construction of the bridge on behalf of the council.

Final design work on the project will start next month, with the bridge being constructed over the coming year. It will then be moved into position and installed in spring 2023 during a line closure and the rail tracks reinstated.

“The bridge is a key component of our plans to improve access to the Ravenscraig site and open up more opportunities for investment and development,” said Councillor Paul Kelly, council depute leader.

“It will be a major piece of engineering to construct and install the bridge, lifting the West Coast Main Line to accommodate the structure, so we are working in partnership with Network Rail to deliver the project.

“The bridge and the new road beneath will improve traffic flow to and from Ravenscraig now and in future as more homes, business, retail and leisure facilities are built on this important site, supporting the local economy across North Lanarkshire.”

Jeremy Spence, Network Rail programme manager for the proposed bridge work, said: “Network Rail has worked closely with North Lanarkshire Council throughout the development stage for the bridge work.

“When the new structure is moved into place next year, it will be undertaken alongside other essential activities in order to help minimise any disruption caused to rail customers and the local community.

“The bridge is part of a wider proposal by the council in further regenerating Ravenscraig and will help create new active travel routes, something Network Rail is fully supportive of and pleased to be able to play a part in helping to deliver.”

As part of the contract, Story Contracting will provide a range of community benefits including eight full-time jobs for local people, four apprenticeships and an education with local schools, including work experience opportunities.

The dual carriageway and railway crossing is the first part of the £127.2m Ravenscraig Access Infrastructure (RAI) project, which is being funded by the council and Glasgow City Region City Deal. In addition to creating new connections to Motherwell, the wider RAI project will improve connections from Ravenscraig north to the M8 and south to the M74 and is part of plans to regenerate the former steelworks site.

Story Contracting to manage construction of rail crossing at Ravenscraig

Meanwhile, work is progressing well on a new active travel link between Ravenscraig and Craigneuk.

The council is are creating the south-north walking and cycling link to connect Craigneuk, via “The Castings” housing development, off Meadowhead Road, with the Regional Sports Facility and The Craig public park.

The path will have lighting, seating and CCTV and there will be features to encourage play and exploration of nature along the way. Wildflower and woodland planting along the route will provide a green setting and enhance the biodiversity of the site.

Contractor Covanburn Contracts Ltd is currently on site and the active travel link is expected to be complete in May.

The project is being jointly funded by Strathclyde Partnership for Transport and the Scottish Government, through their Vacant and Derelict Land Fund and Place Based investment Programme.

“The new public park at Ravenscraig, with it’s play areas, multisport pitch, outdoor gym and most recently the café opening, so this new active travel link will allow more people from Craigneuk and beyond to walk or cycle easily to the park and the sports facility,” said Councillor Allan Graham, convener of the Enterprise and Growth Committee.

“With more people enjoying the health and environmental benefits of walking and cycling, this path will help expand our network of active travel links across North Lanarkshire and improve connections between local communities.”

A second phase of the project is planned to create a path running east-west between Craigneuk and the New College Lanarkshire Motherwell Campus. Subject to funding being granted, this is due to be constructed during 2022/23.

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