August 31, 2022

UPDATE: Works scheduled for 9-12 September have been POSTPONED and will be rearranged for a future date.

  • First phase completed on weekend of 26-29 August 2022

  • Second phase scheduled for 9-12 September; motorists warned to expect delays

The first phase of refurbishment works on the bridge carrying the M8 motorway over the railway at Junction 3A has been successfully completed by Transport Scotland’s operating company BEAR Scotland, with a second phase of similar works scheduled for the weekend of 9-12 September.

Motorists are warned to plan ahead and expect delays if they need to travel on the M8 on the weekend of 9-12 September.

A full programme of deck refurbishment and waterproofing replacement works was completed on the eastbound half of the bridge over the weekend of 26-29 August:

  • Old surfacing and waterproofing were removed, so that the condition of the underlying concrete bridge deck could be assessed and areas requiring repair identified
  • Damaged and decayed concrete was then removed using hydrodemolition (very high-pressure water jets) before being repaired and reinstated with new materials
  • After curing of the concrete, a new waterproofing membrane was applied by spray, followed by the installation of buried expansion joints and new kerbs
  • A new surfacing course was then laid, and road markings reinstated.

The nature of these works required the M8 to be reduced to a single lane in each direction, with traffic managed under a contraflow system. This resulted in some delays to traffic, as BEAR Scotland had warned, however the motorway was reopened to full capacity before 06:00 on Monday morning as planned.

The second phase of works, on the westbound side of the motorway, is scheduled to take place on the weekend of 9-12 September:

  • A contraflow system will be in place on the M8 between Junction 3 Livingston and Junction 4 Whitburn, from 20:30 on the night of Friday 9 September until 06:00 on Monday 12 September.
  • The westbound off-slip at M8 Junction 3A will also be closed during these times, with traffic that would otherwise wish to leave the M8 at Junction 3A directed to exit at Junction 3 and follow the A899, A705 and A779 towards their destination. This diversion will add an estimated 2 miles and 5 minutes to affected journeys.
  • The westbound on-slip at M8 Junction 3A will remain open.

Chris Tracey, BEAR Scotland’s South East Unit Bridges Manager, said: “We are pleased that the first phase of this project went as smoothly as it did and we thank motorists for their understanding during the delays experienced.

“This project to refurbish and re-waterproof the bridge deck is essential to ensuring that this motorway structure will continue to provide safe and reliable service for years to come. It will help to avoid the need for reactive closures of the M8 to undertake surfacing repairs caused by underlying bridge deck issues, as has been the case in previous winters.

“The works have been scheduled over weekends in order to minimise travel disruption as much as possible, with the weekends in question also having been specifically chosen to avoid events taking place in communities along the M8 corridor as much as possible.

“Ahead of the upcoming second phase, we thank motorists again for their patience and understanding and recommend that they check the latest travel updates and allow extra travel time for their journeys during these periods.

“Whilst every effort will be made to ensure that the M8 is fully open to traffic on the Monday morning, the extent of concrete repairs required will not be known until the existing surfacing is removed.  These works are also highly weather dependent and so could be postponed and rearranged at short notice depending on weather forecasts.”

Consultation has taken place with all relevant stakeholders including local authorities and Police Scotland in advance of these works to make them aware of the traffic management arrangements.

Live traffic information is available from the Traffic Scotland website and Twitter account.