THE main span of the new Govan-Partick Bridge today arrived at Yorkhill Quay, close to the site where it will be installed, after being towed up the River Clyde by barge.
The £29.5million pedestrian/cycle bridge is being built between Water Row in Govan and Pointhouse Quay in Partick.
It will create links between communities, visitor attractions and institutions of national economic importance, and is also a central part of the active travel route between the University of Glasgow’s campus at Gilmorehill and the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.
The span, which left Westdorpe in the Netherlands on 7 October, was constructed in Belgium, before being transported along canals to Holland at which point the pylon and cabling were installed prior to sailing to the Clyde.
It is six metres wide and was fabricated in two parts: the moving span, which weighs 650 tonnes, is 99 metres long and which will use the South Pier (at Water Row) as its access; and the fixed span, which weighs 45 tonnes and is 15.7 metres long.
The moving span will, weather permitting, be put in place on 17 October after a set-up period for the lifting crane. The fixed span will be kept in storage until work on the North Pier and northern approach works are complete, and then installed in the summer of 2024 to complete the project.
The Govan-Partick Bridge ties in with public and private sector investments such as the £38million UK Government Strength In Places funding to help the University of Glasgow develop the Clyde Waterfront Innovation Campus next to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital; the ongoing Water Row housing and commercial development; and proposals for more than 1,000 homes at Yorkhill Quay.
Following construction of the bridge, it is expected that there will be 23 per cent increase in jobs that are accessible within a 20-minute walk of Govan Cross and an 87 per cent increase in the number of jobs within a 10-minute cycle of Govan Cross.
David Buchanan, project manager for Farrans Construction, said: “The arrival of the main span of the Govan-Partick Bridge represents a key milestone in this project and an exciting period of activity for our team.
“There are many factors to consider with a civil engineering operation such as this one, most of which we are able to plan, however we also have changeable elements like the weather and tides to contend with.
“The crane we will use for the bridge is the Hebo Lift 10 which is capable of lifting 2,200 tonnes. To have the bridge and crane here and ready to progress means that we are moving into the final stage of this important project.”
In addition to the construction of the fabricated steel, cable-stayed opening swing bridge, the project -– which began in April 2022 — also involves:
· Demolition of a section of masonry/concrete quay wall and access stairs at Water Row, Govan;
· Construction of a sheet-piled quay wall and infilling to finished ground level to extend Pointhouse Quay to form the north bridge landing, access ramp and public realm;
· Construction of a reinforced concrete abutment/quay wall and infilling of the disused Govan ferry inlet at Water Row to form the south landing;
· Construction of bridge approach ramps, retaining walls, provision of drainage and public realm at the north and south bridge landings;
· Bridge and public realm lighting;
· Diversion of the Scottish Water combined sewer outfall at Pointhouse Quay;
· Installation of timber fenders and access for a layby berth at Merklands Quay.
Councillor Susan Aitken, chair of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet, said: “The arrival of the main span of the Govan-Partick Bridge is a major milestone for the project and a remarkable sight on the Clyde.
“When complete, the bridge will benefit those visiting, living and working in Govan and Partick, but also the entirety of the city and wider region. The creation of an active travel connection between the West End and the South Side can boost local economies and complement significant regeneration projects between the University of Glasgow and the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and on both banks of the Clyde.”
Scottish Government wellbeing economy secretary Neil Gray said: “I welcome this significant step towards reconnecting Govan and Partick. This will boost the local and wider economy and give people in Govan access to more jobs, visitor attractions and the University of Glasgow.
“By expanding options for active travel and bringing communities together, we are delivering a fairer, greener and growing economy.”
UK Government Minister for Scotland Malcolm Offord said: “The opening of the Govan-Partick bridge will be an exciting moment for the community. This bridge will create a brand new pedestrian-friendly connection to bring the communities together and support redevelopment and business growth.
“The UK Government is supporting the project as part of £524 million investment in the Glasgow City Region Deal.”