Creagan New Bridge, Loch Creran
Taziker was contracted by BEAR Scotland to undertake the major maintenance and refurbishment project on the A828 60 Creagan Bridge. The bridge carries the trunk road over Loch Creran, a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Marine Protected Area (MPA). It is a key travel link between Oban and Fort William and allows motorists to avoid a five-and-a-half-mile journey around the loch, so keeping the bridge fully operational and disruptions minimal was vital.
Over the years, the Creagan Bridge paint system had deteriorated and needed refurbishment. We devised a new paint system, ensuring the structure would be fully protected and preserved from future corrosion developing on the metallic element.
Creagan Bridge is in the Scottish Highlands, an area known for difficult weather conditions. When applying paint to a structure, warmer temperatures are ideal but often, temperatures would drop harshly, proving a challenge for the team on site.
Alongside Loch Creran being a SAC and MPA, it also interfaces with some surrounding designated Sites of Scientific Interest (SSSI). Prior to works commencing on site, we procured a marine licence from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). To do this, we collaborated with our client BEAR Scotland in submitting our proposals to prevent pollution of the water course.
We installed a specialist scaffold structure, which allowed the team to work from a platform hanging beneath the bridge girders. Both the scaffold and encapsulation facilitated the grit blasting works, where the existing failing paint system from the metallic elements of the structure were then removed.
To combat the rapid change in temperature, heaters were utilised to circulate heat into the encapsulated area, allowing the paint to correctly cure. This measure ensured that we achieved the correct specification to the clients’ requirements.
The Environmental Impact
During the project, we worked to ensure the safety of species that occupied the structure, such as any potentially roosting bats. We liaised with SEPA to ensure roosting bats would be unaffected by our work, while aiding BEAR to install additional bat roosting boxes in the surrounding area.
These additional boxes ensured that when bats moved away from the structure during the darker hours, they returned to the boxes rather than the bridge. We also worked with BEAR’s Ecologist to fill any gaps on the structure where the bats could potentially roost prior to our encapsulated scaffold being installed.
As part of the marine license we procured, a full access scaffold was erected across the length of the bridge and fully encapsulated, with the environmental impact in mind. This meant that the loch below was protected, as well as the surrounding environment from harmful pollutants and debris.
Through the team’s efforts, the disruption to road users was minimal across the project, with most of the work taking place under the bridge, the A828 was kept fully operational.
We self-delivered 100% of the works on this project, from the access scaffolding and encapsulation to the grit blasting and painting. The different disciplines of this project worked collaboratively to ensure the project was completed to a high standard, leaving the structure in a fantastic condition for years to come.
August 2020 - March 2021
The scope of the works included:
- Installation of scaffold
- Grit blast
- Application of four coat protective paint system
- Traffic management
- Acquire Marine Protection Licence
- Liaise with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency