Network Rail completes refurbishment of iconic Cutty Sark bridge: Cutty Sark Complete

Tuesday 7 Nov 2017

Network Rail completes refurbishment of iconic Cutty Sark bridge


Engineers will shortly complete work on the £1.5 million refurbishment of the iconic Cutty Sark bridge over the A8 at Bargeddie as part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan.

The Cutty Sark bridge, which gained its name from a long running whisky advert on the side of the structure, is well known to thousands of road users who passed below it for decades on the main road route between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The bridge refurbishment is part of a wider rolling programme of maintenance on our structures which will extend their lifespan and keep both the road and rail network safe and reliable.

The 37metre span fabricated steel bridge which sits above the A8 in North Lanarkshire has been grit blasted, cleaned, repaired and repainted in a project which has been delivered in just 20 weeks in the biggest refurbishment of the structure since it was built in 1932. The refurbishment of the bridge ensures that the structure will not need any significant maintenance for around 25 years.

Donald Stevenson, Network Rail Senior Programme Manager for the Cutty Sark bridge refurbishment said: “We are just about to complete work on what has been a great project to repair and refurbish this well-known and much loved structure.

“We take seriously our responsibility to maintain and preserve these historic bridges, not just for the safe and efficient operation of the railway, but also how they look in their setting for those travelling on the railway or on the road network below.

“The refurbishment that has been delivered on the bridge will ensure that it serves its purpose for decades to come as well as visually contributing to the significant improvements which have been delivered here by the M8 improvement project.

“We are sure that the work on this widely recognised landmark structure will be welcomed by the many people who have driven under it, or travelled over it by rail.”

To deliver the work safely, a bespoke suspended scaffold system was put in place. The bridge was also ‘encapsulated’ in a protective plastic sheeting to provide the right working environment in the exposed open location as well as to stop any contaminants from leaking into the air – particularly during grit blasting.

The steelwork on the bridge is being painted basalt grey to match the neighbouring bridge over the new section of the recently completed M8. It was painted using a three coat system which protects the existing and new metal work from corrosion and provides a durable as well as a high quality aesthetic finish.

To meet the logistical challenges of working at height above a busy A-road, the work was delivered in two halves. This meant that two-way traffic on the A8 could be maintained throughout work in a contraflow system, thus avoiding further road closures in the area. Network Rail also brought forward the delivery of work to coincide with resurfacing works and worked jointly with Transport Scotland and the Scottish Roads Partnership to minimise the overall impact on road users

With the final job of removing the scaffolding from the bridge about to begin, the only remaining task is to clear the compound and clean the site in preparation for the road to fully re-open on 12 November


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About Network Rail

We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Every day, there are more than 4.7 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

We are building a better railway for a better Britain.

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