Wednesday 15 Aug 2018
Network Rail open £4m Baillieston railway bridge two weeks early
- Region & Route:
Muirhead Road in Baillieston has now re-opened two weeks ahead of schedule following work on a multi-million pound project to reconstruct the bridge over the railway.
The road, which has been closed since February, again now reconnects the large areas of new build housing to the south of the structure to services and amenities in Baillieston – including schools, shops and leisure activities.
The £4m investment by Network Rail with a contribution for Glasgow City Council, has seen the old bridge demolished and rebuilt stronger and wider to enable two-way traffic, cycle route and pedestrian footpath. The bridge parapets (side walls) will also be raised to 1.8 metres to meet modern safety standards for an electrified railway.
The redevelopment was needed as the old structure was no longer fit for purpose for the volume and weight of traffic using it on a daily basis. Demolition and initial reconstruction of the bridge took place in March – which required three weekend closures of the line – the only disruption to the railway during the work. Additionally, pedestrian and cycle access was maintained throughout the road closure via a temporary footbridge which was installed adjacent to the road bridge.
When planning this type of work, Network Rail explores every possible option to minimise disruption to the local road network and on the local community. The seven-month full road closure represented the best possible way to reduce the duration of the closure and minimise the overall disruption to the community.
And while much of the bridge work was completed in a relatively constrained period, part of the reason for requiring a longer road closure was to firstly divert, then re-connect the significant number of different services supplied to the community over the bridge by the various utility providers.
Matthew Spence, Network Rail’s route delivery director, said: “It is fantastic that the work has been completed ahead of schedule and the road can be re-opened earlier than planned.
“The reconstructed bridge at Muirhead Road delivers a stronger and wider structure which enables two-way traffic, cycle routes and pedestrian footpath. It will accommodate current weights and volumes of traffic and anticipates future growth.
“While we understand that the road closure was disruptive for local people in the short term, the re-opening of the road will see the community begin to enjoy the benefits of the enhanced bridge which will stand them in good stead for many years to come.
“We thank everyone for their patience while we carried out this important work.”
With the road re-opened, work to complete the bridge will complete in September.
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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 4.8 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.