Construction of the first opening road bridge over the River Clyde is to begin in the coming weeks after a £79.5million contract was awarded for works on the groundbreaking project.
Renfrewshire Council’s finance board agreed to award the Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside contract to civil engineering experts GRAHAM during a meeting on Friday.
A twin-leaf swing bridge that will connect Renfrew and Yoker in West Dunbartonshire forms the centrepiece of the project.
Works on the structure are scheduled to start in spring and will take three years to complete.
GRAHAM – which has a waterfront office in Braehead – has previously worked on the iconic Samuel Beckett Bridge in Dublin and the Carpenters Land Bridge in Stratford, London.
The firm will deliver the main construction and provide more than 100 community benefits including jobs, apprenticeships, and community volunteering activities.
Other parts of the project include riverside walking and cycling routes and a new road through Renfrew connecting the bridge to the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland being developed by Renfrewshire Council in collaboration with the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise.
Leo Martin, managing director for GRAHAM’s civil engineering division, said: “We’re delighted to have been chosen to deliver the Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside project, including the River Clyde bridge, with our design partners Ramboll and Amey.
“The new bridge will provide a gateway to the area’s fast-growing manufacturing innovation district and help better connect communities with significant employment and development opportunities.
“At GRAHAM we are specialists in delivering complex civil engineering projects and our innovative construction solution will minimise the carbon impact while we will utilise our knowledge and experience from previous landmark bridge construction and installations to ensure this key infrastructure scheme is completed to the highest standards while ensuring we deliver a sustainable legacy and positive impact.”
The project is jointly funded by the UK and Scottish governments through the £1.13billion Glasgow City Region City Deal.
It will support around 700 jobs during its construction and is set to generate hundreds of subcontract and supplier opportunities.
Economic estimates in the final business case found the scheme could also lead to 1,400 permanent posts and 950 temporary construction roles from the resultant £230million in private sector investment expected to be attracted to development sites on both sides of the Clyde over the coming years.
Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson added: “We are delighted to have approved the awarding of this contract and look forward to working with GRAHAM and its project partners on what is a hugely significant project for Renfrewshire, the Glasgow City Region, and Scotland.
“We are excited by its potential in creating a vibrant attractive waterfront and connecting communities to their work, to hospitals, and to education.”
Further City Deal funding is supporting the council as it converts a 52-hectare site next to Glasgow Airport into a research and development centre for advanced manufacturing.
Construction of the underpinning infrastructure is scheduled for completion this year and plans are progressing for a specialist carbon-reducing district heating network, campus square, and riverside green spaces.
The district has already attracted £185m in infrastructure, research, innovation, and skills facilities, with construction having started on both the flagship National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) headquarters facility and the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre.