‘Intense’ 10-day installation underway of ‘UK’s largest concrete bridge’


Scotland Railway to see move of 5000-tonne bridge at Ravenscraig in North Lanarkshire. 

Photograph of Ravenscraig bridge construction.
Credit: STORY Contracting.
by Aniqah Majid April 4, 2023

Network Rail and STORY Contracting engineers have cast the bridge at Network Rail’s compound and are now fitting the structure into position on the West Coast Main Line (WCML). 

The programme started on 1 April and will finish on 10 April

Inside the job

The team will first excavate 36,000 tonnes of material from the railway embankment, removing the track and overhead line equipment. 

Using self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs), the 5000-tonne bridge and support structure will be driven and put in place. 

The track and overhead line equipment will be reinstated before the line reopens and signalling work takes place. 

Materials involved in the project: 

  • 2,500m3 of concrete and 620 tonnes of rebar
  • 18 units of abutment/wingwall, total tonnage of 1,097 tonnes (10 Southside, 8 Northside).
  • 2,555 tonnes of ballast 

Social Value: the programme will provide over 400 hours of work experience for young locals. 

Full Scope 

The £16.9 million project is part of an agreement between North Lanarkshire Council and Network Rail to construct a new road under the railway line. 

This follows the ongoing regeneration of the former steelworks site and the wider Ravenscraig area. 

North Lanarkshire Council and the Glasgow City Region City Deal total investment in the £127.2 million Ravenscraig Access Infrastructure (RAI) project looks to improve local access to housing, leisure, and business. 

It also aims to improve connections north to the M8 and south through Motherwell and the M74.

Once the bridge is built, the council will construct a dual carriageway with pedestrian and cycle paths from Airbles Road/Windmillhill Street to Robberhall Road. 

“Given the sheer size and scale of the bridge, it also represents a significant piece of engineering work, made possible by successes in innovation and collaboration with our major contracting partner, STORY,” said Jeremy Spence, senior programme manager, Network Rail. 

“[We are] very proud to be supporting Network Rail and North Lanarkshire Council on this fundamental piece of civil engineering infrastructure,” said John MacArthur, managing director, Story Contracting (Scotland)

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