When the extended tram line opened from Priory Bridge into Cambuslang in 1907, the Priory Bridge and Spittal Bridges presented a problem, forcing initially a singular tram lane to be used. Something had to be done as two tramcars couldn’t pass by each other.
So, widening of the bridges was requested by the Middle Ward District Committee. In March 1907, the contracts for widening the bridges landed with local Blantyre builder, Andrew Wright. Contracts for building the brickwork below the bridges were awarded that month for £90 10s 6d at Priory Bridge and £139 5s at Spittal. Work commenced the following month in April.
Brickwork was build on the sides of each bridge, substantially reinforcing the bridges and actually changing their appearances from below quite considerably. Certainly it made the bridges look more modern, as the older stonework eventually was obscured. This allowed new iron parapets to be installed, the bridge deck infilled and allowing two trams or vehicles to eventually pass.
Today, 115 years on the brickwork is still there but showing signs of damage with some large cracks.
Priory Bridge over the Rotten Calder River is pictured a few years ago.