Double delight for Forth Road Bridge steel group

The Forth Road Bridge closed in December after faults were discovered in its steel work. Picture: Forth Road Bridge/PA Wire
The Forth Road Bridge closed in December after faults were discovered in its steel work. Picture: Forth Road Bridge/PA Wire
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A North Lanarkshire engineering firm has landed a second significant transportation contract after helping to re-open the Forth Road Bridge ahead of schedule.

Watson Towers, which employs more than 100 people at its factory in Coatbridge, is producing steel masts that will be used to re-open the West Coast Main Line after water pressure undermined a pier of the Lamington Viaduct near Carstairs.

Since the damage caused by Storm Frank, main line trains have been running from London to Carlisle, with replacement bus or shuttle rail services via Dumfries to reach Glasgow.

The work comes on the heels of steel plates made by Watson Towers to repair cracked truss ends on the Forth Road Bridge, which was closed to on 4 December after damage was discovered under the carriageway. Light vehicle traffic returned on 23 December after a series of temporary repairs carried out by Amey and sub-contractor Miller ­Callaghan.

READ MORE: Spotting Forth Road Bridge faults would have been “enormous task”

Neil Watson, managing director of privately-owned Watson Towers, said the firm was pleased to play its “modest” part in restoring these major transport links.

“Producing the Forth Road Bridge truss end plates was an extremely time-critical job, given the pressure everyone involved was under to have it re-opened in the build-up to Christmas,” he said.