The Kingston Bridge, a major crossing over the River Clyde in Glasgow, will be closed to traffic for four nights starting from Monday, October 30. The closure is part of the essential inspection works on the M8 motorway between Junctions 19 and 20, carried out by Amey on behalf of Transport Scotland.
Why is the bridge closing?
The inspection works are aimed at completing the Kingston Bridge spandrel wall inspection, which is a vital part of the bridge’s structure. The spandrel wall is the vertical wall between the arches of the bridge, which supports the deck and transfers the load to the piers.
According to Amey, the inspection will benefit around 146,390 vehicles using this route each day, by ensuring the safety and durability of the bridge. The Kingston Bridge is one of the busiest bridges in Europe, carrying more than 10% of Scotland’s motorway traffic.
How will the closure affect traffic?
The closure will take place between 10pm and 6am from Monday to Thursday, and signed diversions will be in place. However, drivers are advised to plan ahead and avoid the area if possible, as delays and congestion are expected.
Some of the alternative routes include:
- For eastbound traffic, continue on West Street > Kingston Street > Commerce Street > King George V Bridge > Broomielaw > North Street > M8 Junction 19 Eastbound on slip.
- For westbound traffic, use Clydeside Expressway Westbound off slip to M8 Junction 19 Eastbound on slip (Stobcross On Ramp), Waterloo Street On Ramp to M8 Eastbound, Newton Street On Ramp to M8 Eastbound.
What is the history of the bridge?
The Kingston Bridge was opened in 1970 as part of the Glasgow Inner Ring Road project, which aimed to improve the city’s transport network. The bridge was designed by William Fairhurst and Associates, and built by Logan Construction Ltd.
The bridge has a total length of 169 metres and a width of 36 metres. It consists of five spans, each with a reinforced concrete box girder deck supported by concrete piers. The bridge has eight lanes of traffic, four in each direction.
The bridge has undergone several repairs and upgrades over the years, due to structural defects and corrosion. In 1995, a major strengthening project was completed, which involved installing steel cables inside the box girders to increase their load capacity. In 2001, a new lighting system was installed, which can change colour according to different events and occasions.
What are the future plans for the bridge?
The inspection works are part of Transport Scotland’s ongoing maintenance programme for the M8 motorway, which aims to keep it in good condition and reduce disruption for road users. The programme also includes resurfacing, drainage, lighting, signage and barrier works.
Transport Scotland has also announced plans to upgrade the M8 between Junctions 6 and 8, as part of the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project. The project will involve widening the motorway to six lanes, improving junctions and bridges, and installing new intelligent transport systems.
The project is expected to improve journey times and reliability, enhance safety and connectivity, and support economic growth and development in the region.