M8 to close for installation of main span of new Sighthill bridge
A section of Scotland’s busiest road will close in both directions next week as the main span of the new cyclist, pedestrian and wheeler bridge over the M8 connecting Sighthill and the nearby city centre will be installed overnight.
The new bridge will form an active travel route between Sighthill and the city centre and is part of the £250million regeneration of Sighthill, the biggest such project in the UK outside of London. The new bridge will also be part of a wider active travel network connecting Sighthill, the city centre and neighbouring communities in North Glasgow.
The installation work will be carried out overnight on July 31 / August 1 by BAM Nuttall on behalf of Glasgow City Council, with the impact on traffic kept to as little a scale as possible.
The M8 was successfully closed in the summer of 2020 to facilitate the demolition of the old footbridge, and over the past year the new bridge has been fabricated alongside the westbound carriageway of the M8. Work has also begun on the steps, ramps and concourse that form the approaches to the new structure.
The structure is made of weathering steel and construction progress has been a visible spectacle for regular users of this part of the motorway.
During preparation shifts leading up to July 31, lighting masts and barriers will be removed. The bridge will be bolted to a specialist trailer, known as an SPMT, which will be used for transporting the 1000-Tonne structure.
When the road closes from 9pm - 11am, the motorway will be prepared, protected and inspected to ensure it meets the engineering speciation for this type of activity.
The SPMT will then drive the bridge along the M8. This will take between four and six hours. The team will then use hydraulic jacks to lift the bridge into place. This is the most complex part of the operation, as the bridge must meet exact specifications to ensure the structure acts as designed.
Once the bridge is in place all the construction equipment will be removed, the road will then be inspected and reopened to traffic.
The bridge is expected to open in the early months of 2022.
The regeneration of Sighthill - the Sighthill Transformational Regeneration Area - is a partnership between Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Housing Association, and the Scottish Government, with additional funding from the Glasgow City Region City Deal, which is funded by the Scottish and UK Governments.