24 March 2023
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Building Bridges in Milngavie, East Dunbartonshire24 March 2023
The complex operation was vital to upgrade key infrastructure at the reservoirs, which supply drinking water to much of Greater Glasgow.
The historic Craigmaddie Valve Tower Bridge was in desperate need of a make-over but, due to its listed building status, it had to be replaced with an exact replica bridge.
Craigmaddie Valve Tower Bridge Upgrade
There were lots of moving parts to the operation which took around 10 days for completion.
The project team, led by Scottish Water’s contractors Georgie Leslie, worked with specialist contractors Beaver Bridges and stonemasons Saltire Conservation to carry out the upgrade works.
“I am really proud of how the site team pulled together to deliver this project. They took everything in their stride and worked together to achieve the best outcome for the reservoirs and for visitors to the area. The new valve tower bridge is looking great and will serve the reservoir well into the future.”Gerry O'Hara
Project Manager, Scottish Water
Gerry O’Hara, project manager, explained the challenges faced by the army of workers involved in the ten day operation.
He said: “There were many aspects, not to mention many moving parts, which had to be given careful consideration to ensure overall success.
“The natural landscape of Milngavie Reservoirs, with its steep hills, narrow pathways and tricky terrain made access more difficult. The 72 tonne crane and other heavy plant had to navigate a snowy trackway and tight spaces to get to where it had to be.
“A temporary road bridge also had to be constructed to ensure key infrastructure was protected at site. And that was all before the main works at Craigmaddie Valve Tower Bridge could begin!”
After months of planning, a monster crane was brought in last week from the temporary work site adjacent to Roselea Drive up to the top of the reservoirs.
The crane was used to construct the temporary road bridge needed to protect key underground water infrastructure from the sheer weight of heavy machinery – including itself.
Preparatory works were carried out to free the old valve tower bridge before being lifted off by the crane. Once removed, it was clear that extensive and unexpected remedial work would need to be carried out.
Specialist stonemasons were swiftly called in to ready the base of the original bridge for its successor.
Gerry added: “I am really proud of how the site team pulled together to deliver this project. They took everything in their stride and worked together to achieve the best outcome for the reservoirs and for visitors to the area. The new valve tower bridge is looking great and will serve the reservoir well into the future.”
The old Craigmaddie Valve Tower Bridge
The new Craigmaddie Valve Tower Bridge
The original bridge dates back to 1896 when construction of Craigmaddie Reservoir was completed.
Craigmaddie and Mugdock reservoirs – known collectively as Milngavie Reservoirs – store drinking water that supplies over 700,00 customers in the Greater Glasgow area. Built in the 19th Century, the site has huge historic significance and attracts over 160,000 visitors per year.
Recognising the great work of the project team, Georgina Reid, corporate affairs manager in the west region, said: “Come rain or shine, we know how busy Milngavie Reservoirs can be with people out enjoying some fresh air at this beauty spot. It was therefore vitally important to us that people still got to enjoy the area while our works were under way.
“The fact that all this work involving heavy plant took place while maintaining safe public access to the reservoirs is testament to the highly skilled project team.
“They have gone the extra mile to help protect the site while doing their best to minimise any impact on the reservoir users. We really want to thank them for their expertise and their considered approach.
“Of course, we also want to thank reservoir visitors for their patience and understanding during these works. There were many interested spectators and we hope you enjoyed the show!“
With the new valve tower bridge lifted into place, attention now turns to getting the crane and temporary road bridge off site. The bridge will be fully fixed, some further remedial works will take place and the scaffolding will then be removed.
Further projects are due to take place at the site over the next year or so, helping to enhance service to customers across the Greater Glasgow area and to bring many aesthetic improvements to the site.
Just some of the enhancements include improved footpaths around the reservoirs, a bio-diversity garden, the introduction of a wildlife-themed mini-trail, improved signage, and general site maintenance and upgrades to improve visitor experience and safeguard water supplies.