Karen Adam is now the MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast

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3 October 2008

Giant crane to lift £5 million Harthill Footbridge into place

Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson will visit M8 Harthill Services this evening to watch the new £5 million footbridge being lifted into place.

Communities in and around Harthill will have a good view this weekend as Britain’s largest mobile crane carefully manoeuvres the new footbridge into place. The lift marks one of the final stages in Transport Scotland’s project to replace the existing bridge with this new landmark structure.

Transport Minister, Stewart Stevenson, said:

"This is a fantastic project and I am delighted to see this new bridge being lifted into place. It is a much-needed replacement for the existing bridge which will be welcomed by communities in and around Harthill. The innovative design will ensure it becomes an instant landmark, whilst encouraging people out of their cars in favour of the new local transport interchange."

Contractor Raynesway Construction has constructed the project, which will all but complete the redevelopment of the Harthill site, on Transport Scotland’s behalf. Commenting on this significant achievement, Raynesway Construction’s Managing Director Keith Moorhead said:

"Tonight’s event is the culmination of many months of detailed coordination and planning by the project team and the many others involved in this complex operation.

"The safe installation of the footbridge involving the closure of the M8 Motorway at Harthill required the close cooperation of many parties and thanks and appreciation must go to all those involved. The support of the road users and the local communities in and around Harthill is also appreciated.

"This project is a good example of how modern systems of work can safely deliver infrastructure improvements and we are delighted to again be supporting Transport Scotland with this project".

The eye-catching structure comprises a spiral design formed from tubular steel. It has been fabricated off-site and delivered in seven sections which have now been welded together. It has received its final aluminium silver paint finish and its fully enclosed glazed walkway has been put in place ready for the lift.

The crane involved in the lift has a 90m long jib and a lifting capacity of 1200 tonnes. Over 45 articulated lorries were used to deliver the crane components to site and assembling these components was a major feat in itself.

The carefully managed operation to lift the new 92-metre structure into place involves slowly hoisting and rotating it over the existing footbridge. It is a delicate operation that requires the closure of the M8 on Friday between 7.30pm and 6.00am.

For further details of the project see M8 Harthill Footbridge Replacement

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