Transport Scotland

M8 Harthill Services, Scotland

Structural Engineer: Buro Happold
Principal Contractor: Raynesway Construction

M8 Harthill Services Footbridge

SH Structures were invited to join a team of specialists brought together to bid for this proposed iconic new footbridge in the heart of Scotland. The team approach with engineers Buro Happold and main contractor Raynesway proved to be a successful as the bid for the design and build of the new was successfully secured with the client praising this method of bidding as it brought together a group of experts who not only had significant individual experience but who also had an existing working relationship from previous projects. Our scope covered the supply; manufacture and installation of the fully glazed helical tubular bridge along with its access stairs and ramps and associated balustrade systems.

Having worked on similar structure in the past using 2d draughting software our draughtsmen found the use of 3D software for this bridge brought a significant increase in productivity, reducing the time to model the structure and produce the relevant fabrication drawings. The long span of the new bridge meant that it had to be split into five sections for delivery to the site in Scotland. The bridge was fabricated and assembled on jigs within our workshop where the required alignment and pre-camber could be set and controlled. Whilst in the jigs all the connections that would eventually join the sub-assemblies together were aligned, prepped and had their weld gaps set and finally temporary bolted splice plates were fitted. Once on site the works temporary works were replicated and the five sections were aligned safely and quickly using the shop fitted temporary connections before being fully welded into one single seamless structure.

Once completed the bridge structure had to be lifted into position across the motorway during a night closure. Our contracts team used a 1200te mobile to carry out the single lift and the structure was safely in place ahead of schedule allowing Scotland’s busiest motorway to be opened ahead of schedule. The success of this operation was a result of the careful planning and meticulous attention to detail that is required to deliver these complex projects safely and efficiently. Built as a gateway to central Scotland the M8 Harthill footbridge is the only fully enclosed bridge of its type in the UK.