Bell Street Underbridge, Glasgow

Taziker was engaged as Principal Contractor by Network Rail to strengthen and fully refurbish the metallic underbridge at Bell Street as a design and build (D&B) contract.

The challenge

The rail bridge in Glasgow had been identified by Network Rail as requiring structural strengthening and repairs, as well as repainting.

The work was to be carried out with no disruptive access, so we had to design the scaffolding and encapsulation to allow continual passage of trains.

Working with design partner MHB, we conducted early joint site visits with our design and delivery team to understand how the scope of works would impact the existing environment. It was identified that the work presented major challenges including high risk of noise and disruption to residents and businesses. We also had to carefully consider the impact on a hand car wash business located directly underneath the structure, which needed to remain operational throughout.

The solution

The entire bridge was scaffolded and encapsulated to enable full access to the bridge for grit-blasting, strengthening and applying protective coatings. The repairs to the main edge girders consisted of welded web plate strengthening, top and bottom flange plate repairs, web stiffener and crank repairs, along with the removal of redundant steelwork.

The traffic management (TM) proposal was agreed with Glasgow City Council (GCC) for a full road closure on both sides of the bridge. Additionally to minimise disruption for local residents, loud activities such as grit-blasting were undertaken during the daytime under normal hours.

Steel bridge plates were strengthened with the welding to support this, all repair plates were then fabricated off-site at our own fabrication facility.

The result

The bridge at Bell Street was successfully strengthened and therefore its lifespan has been significantly extended.  The new protective coatings provide a brighter and cleaner finish which improves the appearance for the bridge for the local area.

We self-delivered the majority of the works, along with specialist subcontractors providing design, encapsulation and traffic management services.

By using largely in-house resources, we delivered a high-quality solution with safe delivery and working with our client to provide the optimum engineering solution within the constraints of the budget available.

Oct 2021 - Apr 2022

The scope of the works included:

  • Installation of temporary access scaffolding and encapsulation to safely contain all lead based materials.
  • Grit blast and remove all existing coatings as required.
  • Metallic underbridge repairs and strengthening.
  • Collison protection to prevent damage from vehicles to the structure.
  • Removal of track ballast and slewed troughing to enable access to the bridge trackside.
  • Masonry repairs to abutment walls and replacement of guttering and down pipes.
  • Installation of boundary fencing and bird mitigation netting.
  • Installation of trackside edge protection barrier.
  • Road closure with traffic and pedestrian management.