Squiggly Bridge progress as first pieces put in place

26 Nov 2008

by Iain Lundy, Evening Times

The first two major sections of Glasgow's new "Squiggly Bridge" have been lowered into place.

It signalled a major landmark for a project that has been dogged by delays and financial controversy.

The latest Clyde crossing - officially known as the Tradeston Bridge - is part of a £33million scheme to upgrade the Broomielaw and Tradeston.

A river barge yesterday carried the first section of the footbridge's main span up the Clyde. It was then removed by a crane and lowered on to the bridge supports.

Six more deck units, all manufactured by contractor RBG in Invergordon, in the Highlands, will be put in place in the next few days.

Each section of the 115-yard bridge - being built in an unusual S-shape - is 17 yards long and weighs 25 tonnes.

Four have been transferred by a coastal freighter to Princes Dock in Govan and the remaining two were being floated to the bridge site today.

The remaining three will come from Invergordon at the beginning of next week, weather permitting.

Workers are lowering the sections in place by crane from the banks of the river inwards, with the final middle section due to be installed next week.

The sections will then be welded together and pylons and fins put in place to support the structure.

It will then be welded, painted, lit and landscaped and have hand rails installed.

BAM Nuttall, the main contractor, said the work may cause annoyance to neighbours but promised to do its best to minimise disruption.

The bridge was due to be ready last month, but a series of wrangles with contractors caused a long delay and the opening date is now expected to be next spring.

In 2006 councillors scrapped plans for the original crossing when project costs hit about £60m.

Designers came back with a cheaper alternative but last year preparatory work on strengthening the quay walls was held up for six months after they collapsed.

The bridge will link Broomielaw, now marketed as the International Financial Services District, with Tradeston, which is in the process of being revitalised.

More than 1000 riverside apartments are being built along the former rundown Clyde Place and it is hoped to incorporate shops, cafes, bars and restaurants into the development.

Work has also been taking place on improvements such as putting in new paving stones, lampposts and riverside walkways.

In recent months there has been a flurry of activity on the river, with pilings and bridge supports installed.

Reproduced with the permission of The Evening Times (Glasgow) © Newsquest (Herald & Times) Ltd.

  • The first pieces are in place