1952 David Livingstone Memorial Bridge

12935423_1521184378190035_1152404989_nPictured here in 1952 is the opening of the second bridge at Blantyre Works. The first suspension bridge had lasted almost a hundred years and closed in 1949.

The black and white photo shows councillors opening the bridge, which is the previous bridge to the current one. Built in 1952 by Architects and Engineers Bone, Connell and Baxter ,this cantilevered fabricated-steel footbridge provided a river crossing across the River Clyde, connecting Bothwell (to the east) with Blantyre. The footbridge comprised of a cantilevered truss at each side, supporting a bow-truss girder at the centre. The two cantilevers were supported on tall fabricated steel piers, each standing on a concrete plinth, and there were small rubble-built abutments at each end of the bridge. The steelwork was comprised mainly of trusses of rivetted angle-section mild steel, some of the larger members bearing the name ‘Dorman Long, Middlesborough’. The bridge was named, “The David Livingstone Memorial Bridge”.

It wasn’t of the best construction. Indeed, so many shortcuts were taken on it’s construction, that it fell into disrepair, after years of neglect, whch was caused by a dispute between Hamilton District Council and Strathclyde Council about who was to repair and maintain it. The bridge was eventually declared unsafe by April 1999 (when these photos were taken) due to deterioration caused by rust. When the bridge was demolished in May 1999 (not 2002 as reported by others) it was found after cutting down the main supports of the bridge that they could still not pull it down. The attempt was abandoned until the next day when welders arrived to burn the metal.

The current bridge was built in October 1999 and still stands today in the same location.

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Colin Warwickshire memories of swimming in the clyde bike riding from burnbank over to bothwell to visit my aunt + family

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