Bann Railway Bridge bearing replacement scheme awarded

Translink has recently awarded a construction works contract valued at £500,000 to Knockloughrim-based civil engineering contractors FP.McCann Ltd. for the replacement of bridge bearings to the Bann Railway Bridge in Coleraine.

First constructed in the early 1920s’, the bridge carries a single track for approximately 240m over the River Bann on the Coleraine to Derry~Londonderry railway line and comprises eleven spans, one of which is a lifting bascule type to allow the passage of shipping to Coleraine Port.

As part of the contract, FP.McCann will undertake localised structural strengthening works to the individual bridge spans ahead of the installation of a purposely designed support system that will enable individual bridge bearing units to be removed and replaced. This will be supplemented by localised painting works to the structure.

Throughout the duration of the works, timetabled railway services will continue to operate as normal, as will maritime traffic using the Bann. The project is expected to complete in March 2019.

Upon completion of each individual bridge span, the support system will be progressively removed, allowing the bridge structure to continue its’ role as a vital infrastructure asset for Translink.

Oliver Watts, Translink Project Manager, said: ‘‘This is an important project,  as the Bann Railway Bridge is a key component of the busy Derry~Londonderry railway line, which has witnessed an increase in passenger numbers of around 30% since the introduction of an hourly service last year.  The works will be carried out throughout the winter months, with no anticipated disruption to services or to maritime traffic using the Bann, and will complete in March next year.  Translink is looking forward to working with FP. McCann to deliver this project and ensure the long-term future of the bridge.’’