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Civil Engineering heritage: Scotland - Lowlands and Borders

Date 2007

Event ID 602857

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Publication Account


Erskine Road Bridge was a state-of-the-art cable-stay bridge erected over the Clyde from 1967–71, a precursor of the recent Millau

Viaduct in Southern France, has a main span of 1000 ft supported from two 125 ft steel towers on 175 ft tall slender concrete piers clear of the river. Its aerodynamically designed continuous high-yield welded steel boxgirder deck of basically trapezoidal cross-section carries dual two-lane carriageways, footways and cycle tracks.

The bridge is notable for its economy of material, the dead-weight of the steel superstructure plus roadway being only 141 lb sq ft, and as the only bridge in Scotland with single cables over central towers above main piers. The steel cable over the saddle on each tower comprises 4272 0.2 in. diameter wires in 24 strands each with a minimum specified breaking load of 500 tons. The cables are anchored in the median area between the carriageways, an arrangement preferred by its designers to the more usual ‘harp’ style. Achieving closure of the half-span cantilevers at mid-span was a particularly delicate operation.

The fabricated steel work weighed 11 700 tons and 1250 miles of galvanised wire were used. The total cost including approaches was £10.5m. The bridge was designed by Freeman, Fox and Partners of whom Oleg Kerensky FRS was the partner in charge. W. A. Fairhurst and Partners designed and supervised the construction of the piers and foundations, and the consultant architect was R. E. Slater.

R Paxton and J Shipway 2007

Reproduced from 'Civil Engineering heritage: Scotland - Lowlands and Borders' with kind permission of Thomas Telford Publishers.

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