YearJanuary 2021 – September 2022
People have a safer route along the canal
Used engineering skill
One part was constructed so accurately there was merely millimetres of difference from the design
It reconnects the communities of Maryhill, Gilshochill and Ruchill for the first time since 1790
Linking communities together for the first time since 1790
Stockingfield Bridge is a fantastic-looking and technically complex structure.
But more importantly, it’s one which embodies the very idea of what a bridge does: linking communities together.
It’s a two-way spanning cable-stayed pedestrian and cycling bridge over the Forth & Clyde Canal at Stockingfield Junction in Glasgow. It connects Glasgow to Edinburgh in the east via Falkirk, and Loch Lomond and Bowling Harbour in the west.
It’s reconnecting the communities of Maryhill, Gilshochill and Ruchill for the first time since 1790.
It also completes a 'missing link' in the National Cycle Network, offering a traffic-free route between Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The original construction method for the bridge intended the structure to be temporarily supported on barges within the canal.
Early in the project, Balfour Beatty identified an opportunity to create a temporary causeway across the canal at two locations instead.
This removed the need for construction workers to drive short journeys to access both sides of the canal. Also, it allowed canal boats to pass through the works during construction.
It also enabled temporary trestles within the canal footprint and safe access to the piling (deep foundation) plant.
Customers could continue to transit the canal during the traditional boating season, from April to September.
The observation deck around the pylon is built into the hillside.
View from above
Stockingfield Bridge, aerial view.
A bird's eye view of Stockingfield Bridge.
The bridge reflected in the water.
Did you know …
Breaking down barriers - In September 2022 residents from the communities of Maryhill, Gilshochill and Ruchill will be reconnected for the first time since the waterway opened in 1790.
Social value - The construction created business for local suppliers. Young people benefited from 63 weeks of apprenticeships on the project and 10 weeks of work placement opportunities.
Engineering excellence - Following tensioning of all the cable-stayed pylon cables, the crosshairs of the surveyed target some 35 metres above ground level, was within 1.5mm off the theoretical designed position.
Difference the bridge has made
The area where Stockingfield Bridge is being built has a high percentage of households that rely on cycling, walking and public transport.
In the past, the only continuous access for towpath users was to leave the canal and pass through the narrow aqueduct underpass on Lochburn Road.
This presented a daily health and safety hazard to all users. Completion of the bridge will remove the need for this diversion.
A study by Glasgow Caledonian University, which was recognised by the World Economic Form, showed inward investment into the canal can decrease mortality rates by 3% annually and cut the risk of chronic health diseases by up to 15%.
Underpass users will also benefit from the introduction of pedestrian, cycle and vehicle signs.
On the eastern Ruchill side of the site, a new public open green space with various artwork is being created on what was derelict land.
This will provide a safe, public space, where anyone can access the community observation platform to enjoy the canal and surrounding area.
To ensure, for example, that the space is safe for female users, the project team worked with a Glasgow violence against women and girl’s charity, Wise Women.
As part of the partnership, local women visited the site to provide feedback on lighting, access and layout.
How was the project built?
Reducing costs and carbon through design and materials
The engineers reused causeway material as part of the site's earthworks.
The internal structural steel configuration of the bridge’s tapering trapezoid-shaped twin decks also changed from the initial design.
Modifying the size of the remaining internal steelwork has reduced the number of longitudinal stiffeners and transverse diaphragms, used to control buckling, by up to 50%.
This led to a great reduction in fabrication welding (cutting, joining and shaping metal using heat), which helped to cut costs.
The project also reduced its carbon footprint by using more sustainable cement replacements in its concrete mixes.
It also used an asphalt product from MacRebur, which makes products from plastic bottles.
Overall, the project recycled 3.75 tonnes of plastic waste.
When the original design for Stockingfield Bridge changed, the designers were left with a stayed pylon 35 meters high. At this height, wind made the pylon and bridge decks unstable.
To overcome this, the engineers used the natural terrain to create a 5 metre-high platform around the pylon which tied back into the hillside.
This innovation resulted in many benefits:
- It created a new open and safe space for communities and users to come together.
- It enhanced the bridge's aesthetic. The pylon support structure appears to emerge gracefully from the ground.
- Crucially, it mitigated the structural effects of wind.
The project won the Tekla Infrastructure award 2022 for the 3D modelling.
People who made it happen
- Transport Scotland
- Scottish Canals
- Glasgow City Council
- Balfour Beatty
- SH Structures
- Nichol Wheatley
- Anoushka Haviden
- David Galbraith
- Lambhill Stables
- Louise McVey
- Louise Nolan
- Cairn Heritage