A council meeting yesterday (16th January) accepted a recommendation to award BAM Nuttall the £18.468m contract for the bridge crossing the M8 to connect Sighthill and Glasgow city centre.
The contract is funded through the Glasgow City Region Deal, which sees the Scottish and UK governments each providing £500m for infrastructure projects in the Glasgow city region.
The new bridge is seen as an important way of providing simple access to the city centre as there will be almost 1,000 new homes in Sighthill once the regeneration is complete. People will be able to walk from Sighthill to George Square in 15 minutes or less.
The new bridge - a 'street in the sky' – will replace the current one with a structure that is designed to be far more attractive and fit for purpose. Landscaping on both the northern and southern approaches will form new civic spaces that allow free-flowing movement for cyclists and pedestrians with places to pause and enjoy the environment.
The bridge project will begin in February, with completion expected in late summer 2021.
BAM Nuttall Ltd will demolish the existing North Wallace Street Footbridge and an existing high-mast light, and then build the new footbridge over the M8 including wing walls and ramps on both approaches and retaining walls on the south approaches. It will also carry out landscaping – including a five-year maintenance programme - and construct two new high-mast lights.
The bridge span will be just over 58m and its deck is an hour-glass form that varies in width from 20m at the widest to 7.5m at its narrowest. It will weigh 2,420 tonnes - made up of 420 tonnes of steel and 2,000 tonnes of concrete - and its structure is a steel box girder with a reinforced concrete composite desk slab.
The approach taken to its design is intended to ensure that the bridge will need only minimal maintenance and will also not require painting, therefore minimising disruption to the motorway. The parapets are designed to emphasise key views across the city skyline while obscuring direct lines of sight to the motorway below.
Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council and chair of the Glasgow City Region City Deal Cabinet, said: "This new bridge will transform and encourage connectivity to and from Sighthill and will very much be a symbol of the emerging regeneration and revitalisation of the North of Glasgow. Communities like Sighthill are so close to the centre of Glasgow but have for far too long felt remote from it, physically, socially and economically. The new bridge will connected a vibrant new community to the benefits of its wonderful location and to the wider city."