15 June 2010

New bridge to carry M74 over the River Clyde

A major civil engineering operation for the M74 Completion project is now underway in Glasgow.

The largest mobile crane in Europe is being used to erect massive steel beams for a road bridge over the River Clyde. The Auchenshuggle Bridge will carry both carriageways of the new M74 over the river when it opens next year. This bridge is the only one of the 13 major structures on the new motorway that crosses over water.

During a visit to the site of the works today, Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson, said:

“The commencement of steel erection for the Auchenshuggle Bridge is another significant milestone in the construction of the M74 Completion project. The fact that Europe’s largest mobile crane is needed to carry out the work shows what a complex civil engineering operation it is.

“Together with the recent erection of steelwork for the Rutherglen Station bridge and the ongoing second launch of the Port Eglinton Viaduct, the work on this bridge is another major step towards completion of the project. The public can be assured that this project to complete the missing link between the existing M74 and the M8 is on schedule for opening next year.

“The M74 project, one of the largest construction projects on the ground in Scotland at present, is already providing vital jobs and investment for the hard pressed construction industry.

“Marrying these benefits to the new transport links the M74 Completion will bring, when it is completed next year, and the enormous potential for further urban regeneration programmes in the area, many of which are already in development, underlines the importance of Scottish Government investment in our transport infrastructure.

“And it also further reinforces our commitment to doing everything in our power to face head-on the challenges in consolidating economic recovery while supporting sustainable economic growth.”

During his visit, the Minister also met pupils from Cairns Primary School in Cambuslang. Pupils from the school have been taking a keen interest in the construction of the bridge and, assisted by Interlink M74JV, have been visiting the bridge site regularly to investigate issues associated with construction, transport and the local environment.

Interlink M74 Joint Venture Project Director David Welsh said:

“Auchenshuggle Bridge in itself is a very significant project as are so many of the structures on the M74. I must congratulate the design and construction team which, in conjunction with the client and affected third parties, have arrived at this point in the bridge construction weeks ahead of programme. The team approach is clearly working.”

Bailie Liz Cameron, Glasgow City Council's Executive Member for Development and Regeneration, said:

“This is a key stage in the development of the M74. This bridge is yet another very visible sign of a city hard at work and making great progress on a project that will bring economic and social benefits to the entire West of Scotland.”

Chair of South Lanarkshire Council’s Enterprise Resources Committee, Councillor Chris Thompson, said:

“This is yet another example of the outstanding engineering work which has been going on throughout the course of the M74 Completion project. People can now really see the road taking shape before their eyes and I look forward to the positive impact it will have on reducing journey times throughout the west of Scotland.

“The jobs the project has provided, many of them for local people, have been very welcome in the current economic climate.

“It’s also been great to hear about the interest Cairns Primary School has shown with regards to all things relating to the M74 – after all, this amazing feat of 21st century road-building has been taking place almost on their doorstep.”

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