Transferring Pedestrians and Utilities During Demolition and Build of a 75-Year-Old-Bridge

October 16, 2023

The Levenmouth rail link programme is a Scottish government funded plan to link Leven with the main railway network. As part of the plans, Story Contracting were tasked with replacing Bawbee bridge, a 75-year-old structure with extensive corrosion.

The plans proposed by Network rail on behalf of Fife council involve demolition and replacement of the existing bridge, with pedestrian access being maintained with a Mitchell Bridges temporary bridging solution.

Story Contracting

Replacing existing infrastructure can have a huge Impact on local communities. When any such works are undertaken, careful consideration and expert planning are required to minimise any detrimental impact to local communities and businesses. In the case of Bawbee bridge, the bridge is an integral part of local transportation links over the river Leven for commuters and pedestrians alike.


Story have been contracted by Network rail on behalf of Fife council to provide a replacement structure as part of the Levenmouth rail link programme. This will Include a new station in Leven, linking It to the main railway network. Aspart of these works and the complicated nature of the project, Story approachMitchell Bridges for a temporary bridging solution.


The temporary bridge required had to cater for dual purpose, allowing pedestrians safe passage and for Story to re-route existing utilities across the bridge prior to demolition of the main structure. Mitchell Bridges designed a temporary structure utilising our 24m and 18m box girder deck units with two main support towers. This design had a bespoke racking installed for utilities to cross the two main spans.


As an experienced provider of temporary bridges, Mitchell Bridges were able to design the structure to cater for all the project requirements, whilst liaising with and agreeing the proposed design with Fife council. The bridge was installed during one day time shift and ready for public use, subject to the Installation of the utilities.

Keeping the local community moving

When considering the project and the challenges that it posed, Story approached Mitchell bridges with several key Issues that had to be navigated with a temporary bridging solution:

  • Proximity to existing structure and demolition/replacement works
  • Keeping pedestrians moving and re-routing utilities
  • Limited time to design and Install
  • Tying the temporary structure into existing Infrastructure for seamless access

Experience played a key role in the proposed solution, having undertaken similar projects Mitchell Bridges were able to quickly detail a compliant solution that could cater for all the project requirements. The final solution was installed and successfully allowed the demolition works to begin whilst the public maintained access to a safe crossing.

Why Story Contracting chose Mitchell Bridges

Mitchell Bridges ability to design and install at short notice and having just completed a very successful temporary bridge install for Story Contracting at Selby station, Mitchell Bridges were the first contact for another temporary bridge.

Given the requirements for span length and the need to house utilities, a combination of 24m and 18m box girder deck unit designs were utilised. Utilising the box girder design was key to the final solution for several reason:

  • 42m of span required
  • Allow for pedestrians and utilities
  • Allowing for high wind loads

The box girder deck unit meant that Mitchell Bridges could provide a solution that could span a combined length of 42m, whilst allowing for full pedestrian loads and the loads from the existing utilities. The ability to provide a solution that could encompass all requirements is what sets Mitchell Bridges apart from other suppliers.

How Story used our bridge

The combined span of 42m meant that the existing walkways at either end of the bridge could be linked together, causing the least disruption possible to frequent user of the existing bridge. With the temporary bridge being able to run alongside the existing structure, the existing utilities could easily and seamlessly be diverted across the temporary structure. The proposed solution was therefore able to comply with the requirements set out by the utility companies and subsequently accepted by Fife council. The temporary bridge being an integral part of the overall project and a key contributor to it's success.

Mitchell Bridges Demolition and build of 75 year old bridge

The results

With the bridge being installed in December in Fife, minimal daylight hours meant that efficiency on site was key, with our highly experienced install team managing to get the entire structure installed during a single day-time shift and handed over to the client, ready for use.

The Story Contracting Project Manager commented that:

"Our site team had nothing but positive feedback for your guys on the ground during the install. Guys said they were very professional and efficient so if you could pass on to the site team it would be appreciated.

Also, thanks to Aaron and Chris for help with the designs etc. I know we had a few changes along the way which you were able to assist with so appreciate the help.”

Need a temporary bridging solution?

For further information on the Mitchell Bridges 18m U-Frame Temporary Bridge or any other temporary bridging solution, please get in touch.

Email or speak to Chris Mitchell on 01962 885040.