Major bridge milestone met
£500m M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project continues
Video footage showing the construction of the first major structure as part of the £500m M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project has been released by Transport Scotland.
The time lapse footage reveals the new rail bridge, weighing in excess of 2,000 tonnes, sliding into its final position over what will become the new M8 motorway, to join the existing Cutty Sark rail bridge at Bargeddie, Glasgow.
The footage can be viewed by clicking the image at the foot of this page.
The completion of the bridge slide marks a significant milestone in the progress of the project and has been the culmination of months of meticulous planning and preparation between Scottish Roads Partnership (SRP), the contractor responsible for delivering the project, and its construction joint venture, Ferrovial Lagan.
The three minute video footage shows the complex engineering challenge beginning with the onsite construction of the bridge, the possession of the railway line and the bridge slide, and concludes with footage of the first passenger train successfully crossing the new bridge as scheduled.
SRP, the consortium responsible for designing, building, financing and operation the project, took possession of the rail line on 11 July, and returned it to Network Rail on 26 July as programmed, with rail services resuming the following day.
The new bridge will carry the Rutherglen and Whifflet rail line over the new M8, which is currently being constructed to the south of the existing A8.
Graeme Reid, Project Sponsor for Transport Scotland, said:
“The success of the bridge slide marks a significant milestone as part of the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project and is the first tangible improvement to the transport infrastructure.
“The time lapse gives a real sense of the challenges involved in delivering a project of this scale and encourages a greater understanding of civil engineering schemes and the benefits they can bring.
“I would also like to thank all the passengers whose travel plans were affected by these works for their patience during the construction of the new bridge.”
The first phase of works involved the closure of the railway line over four weekends in April 2015, allowing the construction team to lay the foundations by installing eight piles (each two metres in diameter) and reinforce the ground on either side of the bridge. The three-span steel bridge was then built adjacent to the existing railway prior to the slide.
Dario Saavedra, construction manager for Ferrovial Lagan Joint Venture, said: “The installation was complex due the strict limit on time as a result of the railway closure.
“The operation included the removal of the existing railway infrastructure including overhead lines, rail tracks and the embankment, before the steel and concrete bridge could be pushed into its final position over the pre-cast piers to carry the weight of the structure.”
The construction team used a Self-Propelled Modular Transporter (SPMT) system to slide the 2,000 tonne structure into place. Six SPMT platform vehicles, fitted with row upon row of rubber wheels were moved into position under the structure to carry the weight of the bridge to the ground.
A computer controller was used to simultaneously drive the six SPMT platforms carrying the bridge structure 50 metres north, in an operation that lasted approximately four hours.
The M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project is upgrading the core of Scotland’s motorway network and will boost Scotland’s economy by improving connections between the commercial centres of Glasgow and Edinburgh and beyond.
The project marks a £500m investment in Scotland’s trunk road network and aims to tackle congestion problems on the A8/M8, M73, M74 and at key junctions including Raith (M74/A725) and Shawhead (A725/A8).
The benefits of the investment will improve journey times during peak periods, improve connectivity, journey time reliability and road safety across the Central Scotland motorway network. The project will also help promote sustainable economic growth by improving access to facilities and employment areas.
Ferrovial Agroman is the construction subsidiary of Ferrovial, the world’s leading investor in transport infrastructure. Enrique Nieto, Director of Construction Scotland, Ireland & NI, Ferrovial Agroman said:
“The successful and timely completion of the Braehead Railway Bridge with no disruption to traffic on the A8 is testament to the dedication, expertise and hard work of the teams involved.
“Collaboration has been an instrumental part of this project – not merely between the contractors, designers and client, but also with our local stakeholders. We are extremely proud to be playing such an important role in delivering vital improvements to Scotland’s infrastructure.”
Gavin McKevitt, Regional Director Scotland and Northern England, Lagan Construction Group, said: “The bridge push has been the culmination of many months of intricate planning, detailed engineering, and consultation with all the key stakeholders and is a credit to the teams involved. It’s successful completion demonstrates the level of engineering excellence on this scheme and we are delighted that the first major milestone has been achieved. We look forward to many more key milestones in the months ahead.”
Ewan Angus, major projects director at Amey said: “The project to complete the Central Scotland motorway network is an enormous civil engineering challenge with many different technical complexities, not least this bridge design. With more than 170 Amey designers and engineers developing almost 500 design packages, the project is providing invaluable opportunities for graduates and apprentices, creating Scotland’s engineers of the future.”
The M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project will upgrade the core of Scotland’s motorway network and will boost Scotland’s economy by improving connections between the commercial centres of Glasgow and Edinburgh and beyond.
The project marks a £500m investment in Scotland’s trunk road network and aims to tackle congestion problems on the A8/M8, M73, M74 and at key junctions including Raith (M74) and Shawhead (A725/A8).
Ferrovial is one of the world's leading infrastructure operators and municipal services companies, committed to developing sustainable solutions. The company has 69,000 employees and a presence in over 26 countries. Its main business areas are: Services, Toll Roads, Construction and Airports. It is a member of Spain's blue-chip IBEX 35 index and is also included in prestigious sustainability indices such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and FTSE4Good.
For further information on the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project visit the Transport Scotland website: www.transportscotland.gov.uk/m8m73m74
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