Restoring a local landmark: Mauldslie Bridge
Client: Scottish Water
Location: Near Carluke, South Lanarkshire
Timeframe: July 2019 – May 2020
Team experience at Mackenzie: 46 years
Key project features:
Specialist stonework repairs
Working with key sub-contractors
Environmental protection of water course
Protection of bats, birds and other wildlife
Through our ongoing framework with Scottish Water, we were appointed Principal Contractor to undertake the repairs and upgrading of Mauldslie Bridge. Built in 1861, the historic bridge is owned by Scottish Water and provides access to Mauldslie Wastewater Treatment Works.
The bridge was built to provide access to the now demolished Mauldslie Castle, once used by Winston Churchill to cross the Clyde and attend get-togethers with the upper echelons of Scottish society. The bridge had fallen into disrepair, and its days as a much-loved local landmark in South Lanarkshire were numbered. Additionally, there were substantial environmental considerations with bats, otters, fish, birds and invasive species all present at the site.
Restoration works commenced, with the erection of overhanging scaffolding to allow for key elements of the restoration project to be carried out. This involved specialist stone repairs with replacement of bridge joints, rough pointing and smooth pointing with lime mortar and replacing any original damaged stonework with new sandstone. Specialist stonemasons were employed on the project to ensure the necessary care and attention was given to the restoration of this historical bridge. Road repair works were also undertaken on completion of the stone repairs, where consideration for weight restrictions on the bridge were the priority. The bridge was closed for the duration of the works with diversions in place and alternative access routes signposted.
Prior to commencement of works, we ensured adequate protection measures were put in place to help mitigate any impact this work might have on local wildlife. Bat surveys were carried out and two species were found to be roosting within the bridge – Soprano Pipistrelle and Daubentons. Every crack or hole in the bridge was checked for the presence of bats. They were excluded from bridge access through the installation of bat gates, allowing the bats to leave but temporarily preventing their return. Nesting bird sites within the bridge were also protected to allow the young birds to fledge before work began. Additionally, protection measures were put in place around an otter den that was spotted nearby. Keeping in line with our commitment to improve the places in which we work and live, we asked the stonemasons to carve a bat brick out of stone to encourage bats to roost when the project was completed.