Published on : Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Network Rail engineers successfully demolished and took the first steps to reconstruct the bridge over the railway on the A71 in West Calder over the weekend.The demolition is part of wider work on the Shotts line ahead of the electrification of the route by 2019 as part of a Scottish Government investment which is being delivered by Network Rail as part of its UK wide railway upgrade plan.
The structure was demolished during 54hours of continuous working between Friday night and Monday morning in the first of four weekends of intensive work throughout January. The demolition and reconstruction of the bridge is part of a challenging 16 week programme of work to ‘height clear’ the bridge ahead of the electrification of the line by March 2019.
Iain McFarlane, Network Rail’s head of programme management for the Shotts Line Electrification, said: “Demolishing the bridge is the noisiest and most disruptive element of the work but it marks an early and significant milestone in the overall programme. We are delighted that the work over the weekend went so well.
“Delivering this work in just 16 weeks is a huge logistical challenge, but we have planned carefully with our contractors BAM Nuttall and have every confidence in the project team’s ability to complete this work with the minimum possible inconvenience.
“We understand the impact that the closure of the A71 has for both road users and those communities adjacent to the proposed diversion route – as well as the impact this has on train services on the line throughout January. However, this is the best way to minimise the overall disruption that this unavoidable work will have on the community.
“We thank everyone inconvenienced by this work for their patience and cooperation.”Network Rail has worked with West Lothian Council to put in place an appropriate ‘all vehicle’ diversion and has undertaken work at a number of locations to enhance roads in the area ahead of the increased volumes of traffic expected during the A71 closure.