Winchburgh pupils get a taste of civils careers during M9 motorway junction visit

AS the new M9 motorway junction at Winchburgh nears completion following ten months of engineering and construction work, local school pupils became the first members of public to set foot on the transport link.

Located adjacent to Duntarvie Castle, the new M9 Winchburgh junction will provide a faster route into Winchburgh Village and across to the Queensferry Crossing on the east side and Glasgow, Stirling and Falkirk to the west.

The junction and supporting transport network form a key part of Winchburgh’s masterplan delivery. As the village grows in phases from a population of around 2,400 to approximately 14,000 in the next decade, completion of this infrastructure alongside new homes, education, retail, parks, and leisure facilities is seen as vital to the successful delivery of the community.

Speaking at the Winchburgh Academy visit, Allan Donnelly from contractor RJ McLeod, said, “RJ McLeod had already introduced these young people to the works at Winchburgh with a virtual site visit when they were in P7. We knew they were excited to tour the site and meet some of our key personnel face to face. The feeling was mutual. Our aim is to support their education in STEM subjects and inspire these S1s, to set goals now, that will help them transition into further education and careers in civil engineering.”

The visit is the first of a series of trips and information sessions for the school children as part of a 16-week ‘Developing Winchburgh’ programme. Launched during Scottish Careers Week, the workshops give pupils the chance to learn from the live site, providing practical insights into what it takes to work in the jobs required to deliver a masterplan like Winchburgh’s. The pupils are being exposed to a variety of experts across the industry including architects, lawyers, designers and planners, with this week’s focus on civil engineering.

John Hamilton, chief executive of Winchburgh Developments, said, “The completion of construction on the M9 junction marks a momentous step forward in connecting Winchburgh to the rest of the surrounding routes across Scotland’s central belt. The fact that Winchburgh Academy pupils have been the first members of public to visit the site feels particularly special. Thank you to RJ McLeod for making this happen.”

The construction of the new junction and surrounding infrastructure has included the creation of four new slip roads, two roundabouts, a culvert over swine burn, 400,000 tonnes of earthworks to create bunds to be re-used for landscaping across the site, a new drainage network, and new and improved water mains on the site.

The companies taking part in the ‘Developing Winchburgh’ Schools Partnership are as follows: Winchburgh Developments Ltd, Pinsent Masons, CALA Homes East, Ramboll, Open Optimised Environments, PMR Leisure, ESD/Scottish Water, I & H Brown, Scottish Water, RJ McLeod, and PPCA town planning.