Bruce Crawford, MSP for Stirling, today unveiled the plaque to mark the recent completion of the new £8m Kerse Road Bridge.
The structure officially opened on Friday October 19, a week earlier than planned, having been closed fully to traffic since April while engineers demolished and replaced the road bridge over the railway to the south of Stirling station.
The project is part of a wider Scottish Government-funded investment being delivered by Network Rail ahead of the electrification of the route this winter.
Mr Crawford has followed the project closely since it was first announced in early 2016, attending meetings with Network Rail and visiting the site a number of times to view progress in order to keep his constituents up to date with the work.
The new structure has delivered a significant increase in the width of the bridge offering the potential for the council to enhance the carriageway in line with Stirling’s needs – and in keeping with the city’s transport strategy.
Mr Crawford said: “There has been a lot of effort put into this project and local residents have been patient whilst these works have been carried out. However, I am delighted that the Kerse Road bridge is now open for business – this is an important piece of connecting infrastructure into Stirling city centre.
“This allows for the full electrification of the rail line through Stirling and is part of a major investment into our rail system, the biggest upgrade to Scotland’s railways ever. It will mean that our trains will be faster, bigger and greener as a result.
“I am pleased that this major part of the overall project has not only completed, but has done so ahead of schedule.”
Iain McFarlane, Network Rail’s route delivery director for the Stirling-Dunblane-Alloa (SDA) electrification project, said: “The reconstructed bridge at Kerse Road enables the electrification of the rail lines through Stirling but also delivers a stronger and wider structure which will stand the city in good stead for many years to come.
“We understand the impact this closure had for road users, businesses and communities adjacent to the site, but we have worked proactively with Stirling Council to minimise disruption and maintained close communication with the wider community to update on progress throughout.
“We have been heartened by the positive feedback we have received from those impacted by the work who understand that this scale of investment cannot be delivered without some degree of disruption.
“We thank everyone for their patience while we carried out this important work.”
Electrification of central Scotland’s rail network will reduce journey times to Glasgow and Edinburgh, increase capacity on peak services and enable the introduction of longer, faster, greener trains.
Delivering this work in a six-month period was a huge logistical challenge, but the Network Rail team planned the project in detail with contractor Morgan Sindall to minimise inconvenience as much as possible.
With Kerse Road re-opened, work to complete the bridge will continue until February 2019.