Long ‘weight’ is over as Motherwell rail bridge opens

The bridge over the railway in Crosshill Street has reopened after six months
The bridge over the railway in Crosshill Street has reopened after six months

A £2 million reconstruction of the Crosshill Street railway bridge in Motherwell is complete, allowing traffic restrictions to be lifted.

The project was jointly funded by Network Rail and North Lanarkshire Council.

Reconstruction of the bridge, which is owned by Network Rail and carries Crosshill Street over the West Coast Mainline, started in February with the erection of a temporary pedestrian footbridge and the diversion of major underground services.

Following demolition of the steel superstructure a new precast concrete beam deck was constructed and the remaining bridgeworks were completed by contractor Morgan Sindall.

Planning and Transportation committee convener Councillor James Coyle said: “Crosshill Street railway bridge is strategically important, as it serves the haulage requirements of heavy industry and commercial, retail and public interests within Motherwell.

“This long awaited reconstruction has removed the traffic restrictions on the bridge, and provides a new superstructure with a lifespan of at least 120 years.”

The single span steel truss bridge, built in 1898, was structurally assessed by council engineers in 2003 with temporary steel barriers installed to protect the footways from vehicle loading.

In 2007, following the collapse of a similar bridge in Minnesota, USA, another inspection was carried out by the council and Network Rail.

Although assessed as safe it was agreed to impose a weight restriction on the bridge as a precaution and joint fund reconstruction of a new bridge deck.

The work involved retaining and modifying the original masonry abutments to support the new deck and upgrading the parapets to current vehicle containment standards for road-over-rail bridges.