A railway viaduct in the UK which was damaged by flooding on New Year's Eve has been reopened to train traffic two weeks ahead of schedule.
Works to repair and reopen the viaduct, which is on the West Coast Main Line between London and Glasgow, finished two weeks ahead of the predicted March reopening date, after an intensive seven-week engineering project to save the structure from collapse.
The Victorian-built viaduct over the River Clyde had been severely weakened by flood damage and one of its piers was left close to failure due to scour. Engineers had to work round-the-clock to divert the River Clyde and stabilise the structure.
The incident also damaged the pier’s steel bearings, which support the bridge-deck and track above the pier, a non-load-bearing section of the viaduct’s third pier and the structure’s north abutment.
Last weekend, engineers installed new steel bearings on the viaduct’s damaged second pier and constructed a new concrete plinth on the top of the pier to support them.
Engineers took advantage of a break in the weather conditions and the earlier than expected arrival of the new, custom-made bearings to accelerate the recovery programme.