Glasgow & West Scotland

Contenders unveiled for Clyde's first opening road bridge

An artists' impression of the 184m bridge over the Clyde Image copyright Renfrewshire Council
Image caption An initial design for the new bridge over the Clyde

Three international engineering teams are competing to build the first opening road bridge over the River Clyde.

The crossing, connecting Renfrew to Clydebank and Yoker, is the centrepiece of a major infrastructure project to transform the Clyde waterfront.

Renfrewshire Council has invited three bidders to participate in the tendering stage of the procurement process.

The 184m swing bridge will accommodate vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.

It will also open horizontally for passing ships.

The contenders are:

  • ARC, a joint venture of Roadbridge and American Bridge supported by COWI as design partner. Its previous projects include the the iconic Queensferry Crossing and the Tappan Zee Bridge over New York's Hudson River.
  • A Balfour Beatty team, comprising Cleveland Bridge, Qualter Hall and consultants Atkins. They have delivered the Media City Swing Bridge in Salford and are currently replacing the Surf City Swing Bridge in North Carolina.
  • Construction and civil engineering company GRAHAM, working with Hollandia and Ramboll. GRAHAM and Hollandia were both involved in the construction of the Samuel Beckett Bridge in Dublin while Ramboll led the design joint venture of the Queensferry Crossing.

'High calibre teams'

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson said: "This project will transform the Clyde waterfront and connect communities on both sides of the river, improving access to jobs, education, hospitals and leisure pursuits.

"I am very pleased to see this project progressing well and it is no surprise that it has attracted such high-calibre teams bidding to secure the design and construction contract."

Image copyright Renfrewshire Council
Image caption An artists' impression of the 184m (604ft) bridge over the Clyde

Mr Nicolson said more than 470 people would be involved in the initial construction.

A further 2,300 jobs are expected to be created over the next decade through the development and the business growth it is expected to generate.

The £90.7m Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside project is jointly funded by the UK and Scottish governments through the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

Plans for the bridge were initially approved in November.

Scottish Infrastructure Secretary Michael Matheson said: "It's particularly pleasing that this project will open up access to new opportunities around the River Clyde and help further spread the benefits of our investment made in other key infrastructure locally, such as the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and the upcoming National Manufacturing Institute Scotland."

Image copyright Renfrewshire Council
Image caption Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson has hailed the significance of the project

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: "The funding is already delivering real benefits for people who live and work in the region and this particular crossing will make a huge difference to the Clyde waterfront."

Engineering firm Sweco worked with Kettle Collective - the architects behind the Falkirk Wheel - to draw up initial designs for the bridge which draws inspiration from the area's rich shipbuilding heritage.

Also included in the project are more than 2km of new and improved roads and shared cycle and pedestrian routes, including connections into the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland being developed next to Glasgow Airport.

It is anticipated the successful team will be appointed in early 2020.

Construction is scheduled to start next year and is expected to be completed in 2022.

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