Three in the frame for River Clyde’s first opening road bridge

HUNDREDS of construction workers are expected to be utilised in the delivery of the first opening road bridge over the River Clyde.

Renfrewshire Council revealed that three international engineering teams are competing to build the bridge, connecting Renfrew to Clydebank and Yoker. The project is part of a drive to transform the Clyde waterfront.

Following an initial selection stage earlier this year, Renfrewshire Council has now invited three bidders to participate in the tendering stage of the procurement process.

They are:

  • ARC – a joint venture of Roadbridge and American Bridge supported by COWI as design partner, whose previous projects include the construction of the 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 whilst Ramboll led the design JV of the Queensferry Crossing.

Jointly funded by the UK and Scottish Governments through the Glasgow City Region City Deal, the £90.7 million Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside project includes a 184 metre-long, twin-leaf cable-stayed swing bridge accommodating vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians and opening horizontally for passing ships.

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.”

Scottish Government infrastructure secretary Michael Matheson added, “I’m delighted to see the progress being made on the Glasgow City Region Deal as our partners look to drive inclusive economic growth, utilising the Scottish Government’s more than £500 million investment in the area. 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.”

UK Government Scottish secretary Alister Jack commented, “It’s great to see the progress being made on the first and largest growth deal in Scotland, which the UK Government is supporting through its £523 million investment. 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. To date the UK Government has committed more than £1.39 billion of Growth Deal investment to support sustainable growth in Scotland and create jobs and opportunities for the future.”

Engineering specialist Sweco worked with architects Kettle Collective to draw up initial designs for the bridge. Also included in the project is more than 2km of new roads and shared cycle and pedestrian routes.

The successful team is expected to be appointed in early 2020, with construction due to start later that year and be completed in 2022.

“More than 470 people will be involved in the initial construction and a further 2300 jobs are expected to follow over the next decade through the new developments and business growth it attracts,” councillor Nicolson added. “Independent analysis ranks it one of the top-performing economic growth projects in the west of Scotland and we’re excited by its economic potential and by the benefits it brings for residents on both sides of the river.”