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SAFETY FIRST: Crucial repair work on Glasgow's troubled M8 Kingston bridge has stopped after continuing safety concerns over plans to lift the main deck. With the site reduced to a skeleton staff until at least September, Balfour Beatty Construction's £14M contract to increase deck prestress and provide wider concrete piers is now running at least a year late. To complete new piers, the 55,000t main span must be jacked up 15mm. But the River Clyde crossing carries as much traffic as the busiest sections of London's M25 and flow cannot be interrupted during the six month lift. Current problems centre on the contractor being able to guarantee adequate fail-safe controls for the complex £2M jacking operation. Cost of the delay is expected to be met by client the Scottish Office.

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