Forth & Clyde Canal Bridges

Following the £1.625 million of additional funding from the Scottish Government, we are now able to carry out the works to both Bonnybridge and Twechar Bridges.

Update May 2019

Good news folks, the Lowland canals are now fully open for sea-to-sea traffic upon completion of works at both Bonnybridge Bridge and Twechar.

Update 17th April

Both Bonnybridge and Twechar bridges have had their lifting systems successfully installed and both spans are now in the commissioning phase ahead of their re-opening to normal operation.

Update 1st April

New hydraulic rams and associated systems are now being installed at Bonnybridge and Twechar.

Update 18th February

Last week, the huge hydraulic rams of Bonnybridge lift bridge on the Forth & Clyde Canal were removed. The rams have a maximum pressure of 3481 PSI – the equivalent pressure of diving 1.5 miles below the sea!

Update 24th January

Thanks to the £1.625 million additional funding from the Scottish Government, works to modernise the bridge operating equipment and improve its safety, efficiency and reliability will begin on Monday 4th February until the middle of April.

These works will include designing and installing a new hydraulic system and lifting cylinders, installing a bridge deck levelling and monitoring system, electrical wiring, bridge maintenance access platforms, traffic barriers and lights and an operator kiosk with CCTV system. These works will not only keep the bridges operating for the next 20-30 years, they will bring them fully up to modern safety standards.

Given the extensive nature of these works, it will necessary to reduce vehicular and pedestrian access over the bridges on some days to a single carriageway and pavement. There will also be a period when we need to implement full road and pedestrian access closure in order to complete these works but this will be carried out at night.

Please see below a detailed breakdown of works that will be taking place:

Bonnybridge Bridge

  • 28th January – 1st February: Site set up and access limited to one lane and one pavement
  • 4th February – 8th February: Removal of bridge traffic barriers and traffic lights and equipment enclosure and access limited to one lane and one pavement
  • 11th February – 14th February: Removal of bridge lifting cylinders. Full night time closure between 20:00 and 06:00 hours
  • 18th February – 25th February: Removal & installation of access platforms and access limited to one lane and one pavement
  • 25th February – 1st March: Installation of bridge traffic barriers and traffic lights and access limited to one lane and one pavement
  • 4th March – 8th March: Recommissioning works. Full night time closure between 20:00 and 06:00 hours
  • 1st April – 14th April: Lifting cylinders installation and bridge commissioning works. Full night time closure between 20:00 and 06:00 hours

Twechar Bridge

  • 28th January – 1st February: Pathway excavation and site set up and access limited to one lane and one pavement
  • 4th February – 8th February: Removal of bridge traffic barriers and traffic lights and equipment enclosure and access limited to one lane and one pavement
  • 11th February – 15th February: Removal of lifting cylinders
  • 18th February – 25th February: Removal & installation of access platforms and access limited to one lane and one pavement
  • 25th February – 1st March: Installation of bridge traffic barriers and traffic lights and access limited to one lane and one pavement
  • 1st April – 14th April: Lifting cylinders installation and bridge commissioning works. Full night time closure between 20:00 and 06:00 hours

Update 12th October 2018

Following the £1.625 million of additional funding from the Scottish Government, we are now able to carry out the works to both Bonnybridge and Twechar Bridges. Contractors have been engaged and installation works are scheduled for January/February 2019 with testing of both bridges commencing in March 2019. The aim is to have all works completed and both bridges operational by April 2019.

Update 28th June 2018

The Scottish Government has announced an additional £1.625m funding for Scottish Canals, to enable upgrades and improvements to Bonnybridge and Twechar bridges on the Forth and Clyde Canal. Read more here.

June 2018

Following the temporary suspension of boat transits through Twechar and Bonnybridge lift bridges on the Forth & Clyde Canal in early 2018, we have been undertaking further technical investigations.

The mechanisms of these bridges have been a cause for concern for some time but recent inspections showed that they have now reached a point where we believe their operation could pose a risk to public safety. While we work up the technical solutions and source the funding required to implement the necessary upgrades, we have had no option but to temporarily suspend their operation.

Our engineers have managed to carry out some impressive work recently which enabled a controlled operation of Bonnybridge and Twechar. This required 10 engineers and technicians to be redeployed from other planned priorities elsewhere across the business. Thanks to the teams efforts, the successful works mean we can now open both Bard Avenue Bascule Bridge and Twechar lift bridge up to once per month. Visit here for more details.

Please note that Bonnybridge Bridge will remain closed for the foreseeable future. Due to safety reasons, it can’t be opened to boating traffic until significant works are carried out and while we continue to seek funding, investment simply is not available within Scottish Canals’ budget at present, from the Scottish Government or through third party funders. We hope to be able to update on the Robert Whitworth Bridge soon.

This page will be updated as works progress.