Six to beam down
Work on widening the Chapelton Bridge at Glen Avenue has taken a major step forward with the delivery of six pre-stressed concrete beams which will form the new road deck.
The 11 metre long beams were lifted into place by a massive, 300 tonne capacity, mobile crane. The smallest of the beams weighed in at 6 tonnes with the largest weighing 32 tonnes.
Councillor Michael McCormick, Convener of Inverclyde Council’s Environment & Regeneration Committee said, “This project will significantly improve the local road network, particularly in terms of creating a viable alternative route if there are problems on the A8. We appreciate that this has caused a lot of disruption and we thank local people for their patience. That patience will be visibly rewarded over the next 24 hours as all the essential components of the road deck and the parapets will be in place.”
The £650,000 project is being funded by the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT). Martin Bartos, Chair of SPT was on site to watch the lifting operation. He said, “This is an important project that will improve road safety and cut congestion. The bridge is a key public transport artery and widening it will improve access for buses, making services more reliable and more attractive to the public.
“The new pavements will also be more than twice as wide as the existing ones, making them much more user friendly for pedestrians and cyclists – an important consideration as Chapelton Bridge is the one of the key routes to St John’s Primary School.”
The pre-stressed, concrete beams were manufactured in Northern Ireland. They are highly engineered components and only three firms in the UK had the engineering skills to make them.
In November 2018 Inverclyde Council started widening the single-lane Chapelton Bridge. The first phase of the project involved diverting the water, gas and electricity utilities that ran under the bridge. This was finished in December 2018. The second phase of the project involves widening the bridge deck itself. It started on Monday 11 February.