Transport Minister Keith Brown was joined by some of Riverside’s oldest and youngest residents today to officially open the new Shore Road bridge.
Completed six weeks ahead of schedule, the new £4.5m bridge has been installed as part of a £650m electrification programme taking place across the Central Belt.
Mr Brown was joined by 89-year-old Alistair Lamb, who served with the RAF during WWII and still resides in the same Riverside house in which he was born, and 89-year-old Agnes Ross, a retired teacher who previously worked at Riverside Primary School.
Youngsters from Riverside Primary School were also in attendance, with the winners of a Network Rail-sponsored competition to draw the new bridge being presented with their prizes by the Transport Minister.
Mr Brown said: “The reopening of this important bridge paves the way for the £105 million programme to electrify the route from Stirling to Dunblane and Alloa, which will make journeys shorter and more comfortable for everyone travelling on this line.
“I am delighted to see that the Network Rail project team and their contractor, Bam Nuttall, have been able to deliver this challenging project on time, on budget and with the minimum possible disruption to the local community.
“I look forward to seeing more of the same, both on the Stirling line and more widely throughout the Scottish network, in the delivery of our £5 billion programme of investment over the coming five years to see Scotland’s railways into the next generation and ensure they are fit for the future.”
Rodger Querns, Network Rail programme director, added: “Delivering this new bridge six weeks ahead of schedule is a fantastic achievement by the team working on this project.
“The works on the bridge have had a significant impact on access to Riverside and we would also like to thank the local community for their understanding and patience.
“Further electrification of the network across Scotland is a massive enhancement of the railway and the service it can provide to passengers. Faster, greener electric trains help to reduce journey times and increase capacity meaning more seats and greater choice for travellers.”
Work started on the five-arch bridge in June 2013, with the project replacing the previous structure and raising the height of the new bridge to allow for the future electrification of the line below.
The work has been delivered as part of the Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme, which is a rolling programme of electrification across the Central Belt.