By Lucy Ashton
A £79.5m contract has been awarded to a company to build the first opening road bridge over the River Clyde near the site of the old Renfrew Ferry.
Civil engineers GRAHAM were chosen by Renfrewshire Council to undertake the work following a tendering process.
The crossing, connecting Renfrew to Clydebank and Yoker, is the centrepiece of a major infrastructure project to transform the Clyde waterfront.
It is expected to support 700 jobs during construction and benefit subcontractors and suppliers.
The Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside project is being jointly funded by the UK and Scottish governments through the £1.13bn Glasgow City Region City Deal of which the former Esso site at Bowling and Old Kilpatrick is part.
The 184m (600ft) swing bridge will accommodate vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians. It will also open horizontally for passing ships.
Planning consent has already been obtained, and construction is scheduled to start in the spring and take three years to complete.
A new road will be constructed through Renfrew connecting the bridge to the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland (AMIDS) being developed by the local authority, in collaboration with the Scottish government and Scottish Enterprise.
There will also be riverside walking and cycling routes.
Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson described it as “a hugely significant project for Renfrewshire, the Glasgow City Region and indeed Scotland”.
“We are excited by its potential in creating a vibrant attractive waterfront and connecting communities to their work, to hospitals and to education,” he added.
Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Secretary Michael Matheson, pictured left, said: “Across Scotland we have so far committed more than £1.9bn over the next 10 to 20 years to city region and growth deals and additional investments.
“It’s great to see such significant progress in delivering this transformative project, which will create jobs, apprenticeships and new connections into the manufacturing innovation district.”
Scotland Office Minister Iain Stewart said: “This ambitious project will support jobs and bolster the Clyde area as a great place to live, work and do business.
“The UK government is investing billions of pounds and working with partners across Scotland to build back better from the pandemic and deliver for local communities.”