Timelapse footage that shows the demolition of one of the highest bridges on Scotland’s motorway network has been released.
As part of the £500 million M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project, the M74 was closed to traffic in both directions for the weekend to allow engineers to demolish Bothwellpark Road Bridge, to the north of Junction 5 Raith.
Standing 12 metres above the carriageway, the old bridge was substantially taller than the average motorway bridge and had been designed without a central support. As a result, the operation to demolish it was a major challenge for engineers who needed to get the busy route re-opened as quickly as possible.
Graeme Reid, Transport Scotland project manager for the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project, explained: “This was the last of six bridges to be demolished as part of this essential project to improve Central Scotland’s motorway network, all of which were able to be carried out overnight. However, with no central pier to support each side of this structure, we had no option but to close the road for the weekend to ensure the safety of road users and our workforce.
“I’m delighted to report that the months of planning to bring down this bridge and the co-ordination of our many stakeholders, including Police Scotland, the emergency services and local authorities, has made for a highly successful operation, and I’d like to thank everyone involved for their efforts.”
The timelapse footage shows two metres of protective material being laid on the motorway carriageway on Friday evening, before two high-reach excavators on five-metre high temporary platforms on each side of the bridge began to ‘peck’ the concrete on the central span, bringing the bridge down in a safe and controlled manner.