New Falkirk bridge opens ahead of schedule

A new £1 million bridge in Falkirk was officially opened today by Minister for Transport Keith Brown.

The replacement project in Hope Street was carried out to allow for the installation of overhead power cables as part of a £650 million electrification programme for central Scotland’s railway.

Transport Minister Keith Brown and Provost Pat Reid perform the official opening of the new bridge

Transport Minister Keith Brown and Provost Pat Reid perform the official opening of the new bridge

But an added benefit is an increased weight limit on the bridge which will allow HGVs to avoid residential areas while delivering to the Morrisons superstore.

The bridge is the 31st structure to be completed by Network Rail as part of the Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme, which will electrify key routes across Scotland’s central belt including the main Edinburgh Waverley-Glasgow Queen Street line.

The work in Falkirk was completed on budget and five weeks ahead of schedule.

Mr Brown said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved in the successful construction of the new Hope Street bridge. I am delighted to announce the bridge has been completed ahead of schedule and with minimal impact to the local community.

“The new bridge will provide significant benefits to local residents and businesses including diverting delivery lorries away from residential areas.”

David Simpson, Network Rail route managing director for Scotland, added: “Investing in modernising our infrastructure helps us to keep pace with the ongoing growth in demand for rail travel. Further electrification of the network in central Scotland will be a massive step forward in addressing future capacity issues and continuing to attract new passengers to rail.”

Councillor Craig R. Martin, Falkirk Council’s spokesperson for the environment, said: “The programme of improvement works across Scotland can only benefit the economy and visitors to the area.

“The refurbished bridge will greatly benefit people in the local area as it will stop HGVs from passing only metres from their homes. I want to thank the local residents for their patience during the refurbishment stage.”