Giant viaduct bridges the M74 gap

M74 Extension

17 Sep 2009

by Ewan Fergus, Evening Times

WORK has started on a crucial section of the M74 extension, with the project's largest flyover now taking shape.

The new Port Eglinton viaduct is a major part of the project to link the M74 with the M8, completing the vital missing link in Scotland's transport network.

The Port Eglinton section will be 730metres long and is being constructed from 14,500 tonnes of steel.

It will span not only the main West Coast rail line and the Subway line near West Street Station but also the Paisley and City Union rail lines and Eglinton Street itself, one of the busiest routes in to and out of Glasgow.

Transport Scotland, which is behind the project, are having the giant steel box girders for the bridge brought to the site in sections before they are welded together at two assembly points.

The steelwork for the section of the viaduct which crosses the Paisley and SPT lines - a total of 18 70m long girders, weighing up to 200 tonnes each - will be lifted into position by a massive 1200 tonne capacity crane, the largest of its type in Europe.

A few hundred metres away, large box girders, measuring 5.5m wide by 4.5m deep and 20m long and weighing 150 tonnes are also being assembled.

Before the bridge sections are lifted into place, the concrete deck will be added, bringing each fully assembled unit's weight to 4300 tonnes.

The whole viaduct is expected to take over 18 months to complete.

Councillor George Ryan, the council's executive member for business and the economy, said: "This is a very visible sign of a city hard at work and making great progress on a project that is vital to the future growth of Glasgow and of Scotland.

"The completed M74 will bring with it opportunities for thousands of individuals and businesses, support East End regeneration and help us deliver the best possible 2014 Commonwealth Games. Meanwhile, the construction phase itself is already providing good quality jobs in a harsh economic climate."

Ainslie McLaughlin, director of major infrastructure with Transport Scotland added: "The project is making good progress and is on target for completion in 2011. The Port Eglinton viaduct - the largest bridge on the project - is another step closer to delivery."

The project completes the missing link between the end of the M74 at Fullarton Road Junction near Carmyle and the M8 west of the Kingston Bridge near Glasgow city centre.

The five-mile link will comprise three lanes in each direction with a hard shoulder on each side.

Work on the road began in May 2008 and is scheduled for completion in 2011.

Interlink M74 Joint Venture won the contract for the project in March 2008 for a fixed price of just under £445million.

Produced with the permission of the Herald & Times Group.

Case Studies
  • M74 - M8 interchange