Murform bridges the gap

FORMWORK specialist Murform is currently involved in ongoing construction works at the A737 bypass in Dalry, North Ayrshire.

The Ireland-headquartered firm has been contracted for the works by a Joint Venture between civil engineering contractors Farrans and Roadbridge, having previously worked with both firms separately on a number of projects.

Murform has worked with Roadbridge – one of its biggest clients – across Ireland and England but this is their first Scottish collaboration.

The project involves the construction of a viaduct and over bridge that, once complete, will improve journey times on the A737 between Glasgow and North Ayrshire, as well as relieve congestion in the town of Dalry.

The construction of the viaduct and 260-metre double steel girder beam bridge – located over Blair Road – involves the building of 4-metre high patterned feature abutments, feature wing walls, the installation of precast beams and permanent formwork, supporting cantilevered parapets and a casting and in-situ deck.

“It is a multi-strand viaduct bridge crossing the River Garnock and the railway all in one, so we’re constructing two elevated abutments, east and west, and then we’re constructing eight 2-metre diameter piers up to 14.5-metres high, which is quite difficult,” Kevin Keenan, contracts manager at Murform told Project Scotland.

“They’re single standing piers, working right beside a live railway and down the valley beside the River Garnock, so we’re doing that work on cherry pickers and special bespoke steel formwork. We’re ahead of programme on (the bridge). We got done up to beam level in (just over) four weeks, which was about three or four weeks ahead of programme. We were given eight weeks – we got it done in four-and-a-half.”

Kevin described the construction of the piers as the project’s biggest challenge. “These piers are quite bespoke; large, standalone, circular with a mushroom top on the top of the formwork,” he said.

“The challenges are trying to construct the bearing pads at the top of these at 14.5 metres, which is about five storeys high, so we’re trying to do all that work off cherry pickers. We’re just working through at the moment with controls. We’re not on the rail but we need to have certain controls there and restrictive slew of cranes and lifting.”

The bridge is due to be open for diversion in May with the viaduct due for completion in June.

Kevin added, “It’s a good way for us to demonstrate our key works. We do motorway bridges in England and Ireland for Roadbridge and we are keen to develop that in Scotland as well. We’ve been heavily involved in the renewables and green energy in the last few years so we’re keen to show our capabilities in Scotland.”