Bawbee Bridge closure: Plans for temporary bridge over River Leven submitted

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Plans to install a temporary bridge over the River Leven while work is carried out on the Leven Rail Bridge’s replacement have been submitted to Fife Council for approval.

The A955 Bawbee Bridge will have to be completely closed to all road users as efforts to reconnect Leven to the rail network continues apace, with a temporary bridge considered to be the best option to avoid what would be a near five-mile diversion for locals and visitors heading into town from the Methil side.

Network Rail has now applied for planning permission for the structure which is expected to be in use from August 2022 right through to August 2023.

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Construction of the actual railway track has already started in advance of passenger services returning in the spring of 2024, but complexities of the project – such as electrification of the line – meant doing the Leven Rail Bridge replacement at the same time would make more financial and logistical sense.

The A955 Bawbee Bridge will have to be completely closed.The A955 Bawbee Bridge will have to be completely closed.
The A955 Bawbee Bridge will have to be completely closed.

Lisa Cameron, from Network Rail, said the wider Leven rail link project will bring many benefits to the community, such as connectivity to the wider economic area to allow new journeys for work, education and leisure.

“The Leven Rail Bridge was constructed circa 1946 and is a 75-year-old structure which is suffering from significant deterioration with a weak deck and supporting abutments which show signs of significant chlorine contamination and corrosion,” she explained.

“Due to the close interfaces between the bridge and the Levenmouth Reconnected rail project, it has been determined that the renewal of the structure would be most effectively undertaken by Network Rail.

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“The nature and extent of the work means that the A955-30B (Leven Bridge) requires to be closed temporarily to facilitate the replacement of the structure.

The path of the temporary bridge.The path of the temporary bridge.
The path of the temporary bridge.

“It is therefore proposed to construct a temporary diversion route to minimise disruption to users of the bridge while these essential works take place.”

Pedestrians and cyclists will be catered for as part of the diversion arrangements, and appropriate signage will be put up as and when required.

If proposals are approved, work on the temporary road is anticipated to begin in June, and renewal works on the Bawbee Bridge will start in September.