Work starts on Squinty Bridge

17 Mar 2008

by Gordon Thomson, Evening Times

Vital repair work at the troubled Squinty Bridge has taken a major step forward.

Work has started on a giant steel frame which is being put in place to support the weight of the road which will allow the strut repairs to be carried out.

Cranes and barges and specialist equipment have been moved to the £20million Clyde Arc which was closed in January after a four-ton cable crashed on to the road after a steel ring connecting the cable to the bridge arch snapped.

Reinforced steel is being welded on to the bridge arch to take the weight of the road over the river which will then allow engineers to replace faulty connections which are holding huge cables in place.

The repairs are being done by civil engineering firm Edmund Nuttall which built the Clyde crossing.

A spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council today said: "Work on the steel frame began yesterday when cranes and other equipment were moved on site."

After the initial cable crash, an inspection team later discovered a connecting ring on the other side of the bridge had also cracked. A decision was taken to replace every ring connected to the bridge's 14 cables.

The major faults came to light just 15 months after the bridge opened and just weeks after it won one the country's leading engineering awards. It's expected to remain closed until August.

A council spokesman added: "The project team is working with the information compiled during weeks of detailed testing.

"We are confident work is progressing well and remain optimistic that the bridge will be safe for use within the timescale predicted."

Last month James Scobie, Nuttall's director for Scotland, explained how a temporary support system in the shape of a specially constructed frame would sit on top of the Arc while jacks will be used to support the weight of the bridge deck.

Both measures will allow workmen and engineers to dismantle safely the bridge's cables and replace connectors at the top and bottom.

Mr Scobie told the Evening Times: "The safety of the public and of our employees remains our priority. Our chosen solution allows us to minimise risk by working predominantly from the river and from the north and south abutments."

It links the new media village at Pacific Quay with the planned waterfront village of 1600 homes on the north bank and a £62m National Arena next to the SECC.

Reproduced with the permission of The Evening Times(Glasgow) © Newsquest (Herald & Times) Ltd.


  • Detail of the Clyde Arc