IT was a case of beam me up as the £650k work on widening Chapelton Bridge in Port Glasgow took a major step forward.

Six huge pre-stressed concrete beams have been delivered to form the new road deck.

The 11-metre long beams were lifted into place by a massive, 300-tonne capacity mobile crane.

The largest beam weighed 32 tonnes.

The bridge project has been going on since late last year, with Glen Avenue closed to allow it to proceed.

Councillor Michael McCormick, convener of the environment and regeneration committee, said: “This project will significantly improve the local road network, particularly in terms of creating a viable alternative route if there are problems on the A8.

"We appreciate that this has caused a lot of disruption and we thank local people for their patience.

"That patience will be rewarded over the next 24 hours as all the essential components of the road deck and the parapets will be in place.”

The upgrade is being funded by Strathclyde Partnership for Transport whose chair Martin Bartos, pictured, was on site to watch the lifting operation.

He said: “This is an important project that will improve road safety and cut congestion.

"The bridge is a key public transport artery and widening it will improve access for buses, making services more reliable and more attractive to the public.

“The new pavements will also be more than twice as wide as the existing ones, making them much more user-friendly for pedestrians and cyclists – an important consideration as Chapelton Bridge is the one of the key routes to St John’s Primary School.”

The pre-stressed, concrete beams were manufactured in Northern Ireland.

The council says they are highly engineered components and only three firms in the UK had the engineering skills to make them.

Inverclyde Council started widening the single-lane bridge last November.

The first phase of the project involved diverting the water, gas and electricity utilities that ran under it.

This finished in December and the second phase of the project - widening the bridge deck itself - began back in February, with the most recent target date for completion listed as the end of this month.