Crews are nearing completion of initial on-site work to deliver the Glasgow City Region City Deal funded bridges across the Clyde and White Cart.
Specialist teams have been working around the clock for the past five weeks, gathering crucial geotechnical and environmental information about what lies beneath the riverbeds.
The complex overwater ground investigations are needed to develop the designs of the new bridges.
They will also inform a future decision on the exact location and alignment of the bridge across the Clyde.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan – the Glasgow City Region Cabinet Lead for Enterprise – visited crews on the river to get a first-hand look at the work. He said: “It is great to see these exciting projects underway.
“The new bridge across the Clyde will give people on both sides of the river better access to jobs and services, as well as helping businesses reach more customers, access suppliers and hire the staff they need.
“It will also improve access to under-used land, opening it up for new development and helping to regenerate our areas.
“The new bridge over the White Cart is one of the infrastructure improvements focused on better linking communities and businesses to make the area around the airport a world class commercial location.
“This will create job opportunities for people in this county and across our entire city region, help businesses to thrive and enable the continued growth of the airport.”
He added: “The City Deal is about delivering major infrastructure projects that will provide significant benefit far beyond their immediate location.
“These bridges are crucial developments that will attract investment, create jobs and cement our place as Scotland’s economic powerhouse.”
The £90.7 million ‘Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside’ project will strengthen links between communities and businesses in Renfrewshire, West Dunbartonshire and Glasgow’s west end.
Buses, cars, cyclists and pedestrians will all be able to cross the bridge, which will ‘open’ to allow ships to continue sailing up and down the river.
Glasgow City Council Leader Frank McAveety, the Chair of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet, said: “This project is a great example of what our City Deal can deliver for the Glasgow City Region.
“Physically, it will connect communities on either side of the Clyde and help transform the waterfront – but, beyond that, it will also support economic growth and improve people’s employment prospects.
“Likewise, the City Deal as a whole will generate billions in private sector investment, drive business growth and innovation in key industries, create new jobs, and assist thousands of unemployed people in Glasgow and across the region back to work.”
West Dunbartonshire Council Leader Martin Rooney added: “We are working closely with our City Deal partners throughout this process and are looking forward to seeing the results of an Economic and Retail Impact Assessment.
“This report has been jointly-funded by ourselves and Renfrewshire Council and it will give us all an even better understanding of the economic benefits the project will bring to our area.”
The new bridge across the White Cart is being delivered as part of the City Deal funded £39.1 million ‘Glasgow Airport Investment Area’ project, which also includes the realignment of Abbotsinch Road and the building of new cycle routes.
These are all aimed at improving connections between the Westway, Inchinnan and Airport business parks and helping to deliver a world class commercial offering centred around the airport.
In addition to the ‘Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside’ and ‘Glasgow Airport Investment Area’ projects, a further £144 million has been earmarked to provide the long sought-after direct rail link between Glasgow Airport, Paisley and Glasgow City Centre.
This ‘Glasgow Airport Access Project’ is the City Deal’s flagship project. It will see the development of a new light rail spur, with hybrid tram-trains using both it and the existing railway network.
Renfrewshire Council’s City Deal project team held engagement events throughout last year and there continues to be overwhelming public support for the initiatives.
Local people will have further opportunities to help shape these major infrastructure projects at events scheduled to be held in May.