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Landmark bridge works specialist Spencer Group based in Hull have been appointed to carry out a long-term maintenance painting programme on Scotland’s Erskine Bridge following a very competitive tender process.
Spencer Group will carry out the £18m package of works over a four-year period in the latest stage of a long-term relationship with the bridge, which spans the River Clyde near Glasgow.
Opened in 1971, Erskine Bridge is the longest cable-stayed bridge of its type in the world at 1.3km and was last year awarded Category A status by Historic Environment Scotland in recognition of its special architectural interest.
Spencer Group has carried out a series of projects on the crossing, dating back almost 20 years, including designing, installing and maintaining four impressive under-deck gantries to allow year-round access for maintenance and repairs. The latest project follows works to inspect and recoat the stay cables.
Now Spencer Group has been awarded a contract by bridge owner Transport Scotland to deliver an extensive programme of maintenance painting. Scotland Transerv is the Principal Designer and the Engineer managing the works. COWI (formerly Flint and Neill) were appointed as technical experts to assist Scotland Transerv produce the design and will assist management of the works.
The project will involve Spencer Group teams applying 46,000 litres of paint across every part of the structure’s steelwork, from the bridge deck, 60 metres from the river below, to the towers a further 40 metres above. In all, that’s 60,000 square metres of the structure to be painted.
The works will be delivered in four phases, beginning immediately, and will include:
• Provision of specialist temporary access;
• Surveying and inspection of the existing steelwork;
• Steelwork repairs;
• Stripping off paint layers and applying new coats of paint.

The works will also involve the refurbishment the bridge’s footpaths and removal of redundant gas mains.
During abrasive blasting processes and spray painting, sections of the bridge will be wrapped in a high-strength tent that will capture all the residue and ensure minimal impact on bridge users, trains on the rail line running below it, or river traffic. It will also prevent spillage into the River Clyde.
Spencer Group is an industry leader in complex engineering projects on major structures and is renowned for its world-class expertise in long-span bridge repair and refurbishment.
The company has recently delivered another major maintenance project, on the Humber Bridge, close to Spencer Group’s headquarters in Hull. This project involved the design and construction of a bespoke access platform, which allows engineers to access, inspect and replace the bridge’s “hangers” – the super-strength, high-tensile steel ropes that suspend the bridge deck from the main cables.


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