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Barhale completes repair works on Coltbridge Viaduct

24th September 2020

Barhale has successfully completed the repair of one of Edinburgh’s historic railway bridges ensuring it can continue to serve as a thoroughfare for the city’s residents for generations to come.

Coltbridge Viaduct crosses the Water of Leith and Coltbridge Avenue near Murrayfield. City of Edinburgh Council contracted Barhale to carry out works to ensure the long-term integrity of the bridge. The programme included a rebuild of the east parapet and spandrel wall, other structural and masonry repairs, drainage works, vegetation removal and landscaping.

Originally designed by Donald Matheson of the Caledonian Railway Company, the Coltbridge viaduct is a three arch bridge supported on masonry piers and abutments with masonry spandrel walls and wing walls. It was constructed in the 19th century using local blonde sandstone. Following closure of the railway line in the 1960s, it became a part of the Roseburn cycle/footway.

With works required across all areas of the viaduct, the Barhale team led by project manager Lee Hollywood came up with an innovative solution to build a complex cantilever scaffold which dropped over each of the three spans and supported a working platform beneath each of the arches. The ‘wraparound’ structure meant that the team had safe access to the working area throughout the project.

“We also made sure that members of the public could continue to access the cycleway and walkway while works were underway,” said Lee Hollywood. “To do so, we erected hoardings across each elevation and the east and west verges. Their design provided a safe 2.5m path across the centre of the bridge.

“I am proud of the Barhale team and our partners who enabled us to develop an innovative solution allowing us to maintain public access while we successfully repaired and restored this important part of Edinburgh’s history.”