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Claypits: Applecross to Firhill

Claypits Case Study: Developing infrastructure from Applecross to Firhill
Client: Scottish Canals
Location: Glasgow
Timeframe: August 2019 to August 2021
Team experience at Mackenzie: 46 years

Key project features:
Design and build sliding pedestrian bridge
Environmental protection and habitat improvements
5m deep coffer dam sheet piling works within the canal infrastructure
Coordination and installation of multi-utilities
High quality hard landscaping
Planting of a 10000m2 of new wildflower meadow, 200 new mature trees of native varieties and 9000 new saplings
Foul, surface and land drainage
Serviced pontoons
Canal wall repairs
Extensive access infrastructure

The background
Originally the home of a clay quarry used when the Forth & Clyde Canal was first built in the late 1700s, it was also the site of a foundry, glassworks and boat-building yard. These industries are long gone but the historic canal buildings, the oldest in Scotland, still dot the banks. The Claypits is a beautiful greenspace in the heart of the city. Roe deer roam the reserve and many bird species can be found, from peregrine falcons to whitethroat warblers and a host of waterfowl – even the elusive water rail. In surrounding communities, For the 75,000 people who live within a 20-minute walk (or just a few minutes’ cycle) of The Claypits, it’s an important place to explore nature by boot or bike.

The challenge
The Applecross to Firhill Infrastructure project was undertaken on behalf of Scottish Canals in the North of Glasgow, in connection with our ongoing Contractor Services Framework. Works also involved the creation of a valuable semi-wild greenspace to add further value to the local community and surrounding areas.

The solution
The project was delivered in various phases, including: A new accessible path network, gateway points at key access locations, a new pedestrian bridge over the canal, service installation towards a ‘living on the water’ facility at Firhill basin, services installations to a new development site accessed from Applecross, A new SUDS infrastructure including ponds, swales and pipework, habitat improvements to improve urban wildlife areas and structural repairs to the historic canal walls and bank protection.

Added value
Project works at Garscube Bridge included the construction of a new sliding pedestrian footbridge. The design and build element of the work has achieved and exceeded the performance specification to provide an elegant, efficient and reliable bridge with minimum maintenance. It will set the standard of design for future Scottish Canal pedestrian bridges. Additionally, the works were carried out sympathetically for the duration of the project within Glasgow’s only inner-city Local Nature Reserve, to protect this beautiful greenspace for future generations.