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Benhar Bridge Finally Re-opens
Benhar Bridge in Shotts has finally re-opened following Network Rail works to upgrade the structure in preparation for the future electrification of the railway.
The £5.7 million investment, part funded by North Lanarkshire Council, has created enough height clearance above the rails to run overhead electrification cables safely below the bridge as well as providing an enhancement to the road network by widening the structure.
The rebuilding of the bridge has ensured that the reinstated carriageway is wider and now suitable for two way traffic and for the first time in a generation, will not have traffic signals on the road. The bridge also carries fully compliant pedestrian footpaths on both sides.
Benhar Road Bridge has been reconstructed as part of the Shotts Line electrification which is part of Network Rail’s nationwide Railway Upgrade Plan and helps deliver the Scottish Government’s rolling programme to electrify central Scotland’s rail network.
Benhar is the 11th completed structure out of the 19 that will be reconstructed ahead of the electrification of the line in 2019.
It is the largest and most complex bridge reconstruction completed to date, requiring the diversion of a range of utilities which used the bridge to connect over the railway as well as piling to widen the structure to carry two-way traffic.
Michelle McCaig, Network Rail project manager, said: “This was a challenging and complex piece of work being delivered in a live railway environment, so credit is due to the Network Rail team and contractors, BAM, who have delivered this work.
“We are conscious of the inconvenience that this work has caused to the local community and I’d like to thank residents in Shotts for their patience while we delivered this important railway investment.”
Councillor Bill Shields, Vice-Convener of the Planning and Transportation Committee at North Lanarkshire Council added: “The project has delivered the necessary upgrade to the bridge, as well as work to Benhar Road which will improve traffic flow in the area. This is a good example of positive partnership working."