Clydebank’s MSP has praised engineers for their efforts on work to the Old Kilpatrick rail bridge amid terrible weather – including storms Ciara and Dennis.

Gil Paterson MSP visited Network Rail’s construction site last week.

The road bridge over the railway has been replaced – a huge operation involving a 1,500 tonne crane lifting four tonne blocks.

Mr Paterson said: “I would like to thank Network Rail for all the great work they have been doing.

“A huge credit must go to the engineers on the ground who have been battling through some horrendous weather to get this job done.

“On behalf of the community, I am grateful for the shuttle bus put on to replace would-be cancelled services amid these works.

“Up close, you can see this is a massive job with some colossal machinery and materials involved – so I left very impressed with the works.”

Network Rail said the condition of the bridge structure was deteriorating and no longer fit for purpose for the weight and volume of traffic which crosses the bridge daily.

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The new structure sits over the existing one on two new concrete foundations set back from the current bridge.

Ramps were constructed on either side and the road alignment was improved to improve site lines.

The temporary bridge represents an investment of circa £1m to maintain the road link.

Andy Sinclair, Network Rail programme manager for the bridge replacement work said, “While it is unusual for us to install a temporary structure in these circumstances, the deteriorating condition of the existing bridge meant that doing nothing was not an option.

“Following the postponement of the first and largest bridge lift due to Storm Ciara, and the impact of Storm Dennis, we had extended the length of the road closure but, despite the horrible weather conditions, the team worked around the clock to complete installation of the bridge and reinstatement of the carriageway and we were able to open the road earlier than expected.

“It was a fantastic effort by the team to get this done and minimise disruption for the local community and we are grateful for everyone’s patience during this work.”

Traffic management is in place at the bridge until the end of March.