One of the biggest civil engineering operations in Scotland is taking place in Glasgow over the next two weeks with the launch of the Port Eglinton Viaduct over the West Coast Main Line.
The launch of the viaduct is a critical part of work to complete the missing link between the end of the existing M74 at Fullarton Road and the M8 south of the Kingston Bridge.
The scheme involves a number of crossings of roads, railways and the River Clyde. The 750m long Port Eglinton viaduct is the largest of 13 structures along the route of the new motorway.
The 135m span over the West Coast Main Line and Eglinton Street is being launched into place rather than being placed by conventional crane lifts.
The launch takes place overnight when to avoid disruption to train services.
Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson, said: “The work to complete the M74 is moving on apace. Already anyone travelling through Glasgow can see the structures which will support the new road taking shape.
“This latest launch of the Port Eglinton Viaduct, a complex and challenging civil engineering operation, will be visible to all to see as it is pushed out across the West Coast Main Line.
“The M74 project, one of the largest on the ground in Scotland at present, is providing vital jobs and investment to the hard pressed construction industry. Once complete, the M74 missing link will provide improved access to economic, employment and education opportunities for the people of Scotland.”
Interlink M74 Joint Venture Project Director David Welsh said: “We are delighted to have reached this key point in the M74 Completion Project. The Port Eglinton viaduct launch has represented a major technical challenge which required an innovative solution.
“This has been a major effort with great credit to our staff, workforce, designers, sub-contractors, client and stakeholders and is typical of the way we have worked together in a partnering way to the benefit of the whole project.”
Glasgow City Council executive member for business and the economy councillor George Ryan said: “This is a significant milestone in the construction of the M74. It is a very visible sign of the work that’s taking place to deliver a project vital to the future growth and success of the city.
“The project itself is providing a range of employment opportunities and its completion will have a major boost to our city’s economy.”