New Gala Landmarks Signal Railway Progress
A new rail bridge that will play a vital role in connecting Galashiels to the rest of the railway network was successfully installed above Wheatlands Road this weekend.
The works, carried out across Saturday and Sunday, saw a 15 strong team work around the clock to lift the 90 tonne bridge into place with a 500 tonne crane.
While much of the construction of the new bridge had been done without impacting traffic movements, the lifting of the bridge deck required a four day closure of Wheatlands Road to enable the team to prepare scaffolding to support the bridge lift and to enable the crane to get on and off site.
The successful installation allows the project team to turn immediately to the next major milestone, with a pre-assembled road bridge being installed over Gala Water to reconnect Plumtreehall Brae on Friday 16and Saturday 17 May. The installation will require the closure of King Street over the two days, with traffic diversions in place.
Hugh Wark, project director, Network Rail, said: “The bridge lift at Wheatlands Road went very well and we thank the team for working extremely hard over the weekend to complete that installation. We also thank local businesses and residents for their patience and cooperation while this activity was underway. Now that the installation of the bridge is complete, the team will be working towards completing the overall structure.
“Bridge works are continuing in the Gala area as we install new structures on Currie Road and over Gala Water. We acknowledge that there has been some significant disruption to traffic in Gala in recent weeks but, on a positive note, it signals significant progress for the railway and we are doing all we can to keep disturbance to a minimum.
Stuart Mackay, Communication Manager, BAM, said: “This new bridge will be lifted in as pre-assembled steel structure and will act as the new residents access to Plumtreehall Brae when it opens later in the summer.”
Elsewhere in Galashiels, a bridge installation at Currie Road will require the road to close from 19 May to 14 June. Vehicles will be able to use Glenfield Crescent and Melrose Road as a diversion and a temporary footpath will be available for pedestrians.
During this period of peak construction in Galashiels, Network Rail and BAM are working closely with the Scottish Borders Council to minimise disruption for residents and businesses. The council have created a new page on their website to inform local residents about road works in the town: http://www.scotborders.gov.uk/galaroadworks