Self-propelled modular transporters moved the new bridge and support structures into position earlier this year, carrying out what is believed to be the biggest concrete bridge lift of its kind in Europe. The deck installation in April was preceded by the excavation of over 36,000t of material from the railway embankment to create space for the crossing.
Network Rail appointed Story Contracting to manage the construction of the bridge on behalf of the North Lanarkshire Council.
Final design work on the project took place in spring 2022, with Network Rail and Story Contracting working since May 2022 to construct the concrete structure at a compound next to the West Coast main line (WCML).
The US$21 million rail bridge was constructed to lift the railway line over a new road, enabling the construction of a dual carriageway under the WCML, with pedestrian and cycle paths to be built between Motherwell and Ravenscraig. Plans for the new road will move forward with advance roadworks carried out during summer 2023, a contractor to be appointed in autumn, and construction set to start in early 2024.
The new crossing is expected to help redevelop the large derelict site of the former Ravenscraig steelworks by improving access, encouraging active travel and bringing long-term economic benefits to the area.
The next issue of Bd&e (#112) will feature the construction of Ravenscraig Rail Bridge in more detail within the Lifting & Launching section.