New Grangemouth bridge will mean delays for motorists

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Motorists face delays as the latest work on The Helix gets underway.

A new £1 million lifting bridge will be installed on Glensburgh Road to help boost waterway traffic on the Forth & Clyde Canal.

Construction is due to start today (Thursday) and expected to last until October.

Traffic disruption is expected while this is underway with single lane restrictions and diversions for cyclists and pedestrians.

The new bridge will be on the Grangemouth side of the road and in front of the current crossing over the River Carron.

Hydraulically operated, it will carry vehicles over the six metre span of the new canal extension and will be installed on concrete piled foundations.

The extension will also see the creation of a new culvert taking the canal and its towpath under the M9 and into a specially constructed turning pool near canal lock two where the Kelpies visitor centre will be positioned.

Robert McMaster, Falkirk Council’s head of roads and design, said the new lifting bridge is a “vital part” of the £43 million Helix project which will transform 350 hectares between Falkirk and Grangemouth into parkland.

He said: “The ongoing work at the Helix will inevitably mean some localised disruption and we apologise for this in advance.”

Mike King, programme director for the Helix, said: “A large variation between high and low tides on the river estuary is one of the challenges which currently limits access to the canal. This will all change with the work being carried out on the canal and, together with the new bridge, will give unlimited access to all types of craft.”

Once fully operation, the bridge will be opened by Scottish Canals up to three times a day during off peak hours. The full cycle from opening to closing will last five minutes.

Meanwhile, in the lead up to Helix Day celebrations on September 14 the Roofless programme of events are now underway.

Local communities are being encouraged to take part in a range of different workshops and activities led by a range of artists in the coming months.

Working with UZ Arts, the Helix Roofless initiative is Scotland’s biggest and most ambitious outdoor arts programme.

Events begin with ‘guerilla gardener’ Darren Wilson who will be working with schools and other groups to produce Seedboms loaded with flower power.

On Saturday, April 27 between noon and 5 p.m. he will in his potting shed in the atrium level of the Howgate to allow people to drop-in and make their own Seedboms before heading to secret locations to scatter them.