Opened eight months early, the M74 project is one of Scotland's largest infrastructure schemes.
The new eight kilometre stretch of the M74 continues the motorway from the Fullarton Road junction near Carmyle to the M8 near Glasgow city centre.
The road comprises three lanes and a hard shoulder in each direction. The project included the construction of 14 bridges, one two-way junction where the M74 meets the M8, and three four-way junctions.
An alternative single-span design was formulated for a bridge over the Clyde. This avoided the need for the four piers included in the original design, greatly reducing the environmental impact on the river and its ecosystems.
The section of the Port Eglinton Viaduct passing over the West Coast Main Line was also redesigned to avoid the need to construct support piers close to the tracks. Due to the length of the beams required to span the rail line and roads below and to avoid disruption to train services, two 200m long sections of steel bridge superstructure were fabricated on temporary trestles and push-launched 166m over the tracks.
More than 2.1 million tonnes of recycled material was used in construction of the route. This included more than 500,000 tonnes of rubble from Glasgow’s demolished buildings and 86 tonnes of contaminated earth remediated at a ‘soil hospital’.
Three quarters of the 2.5 million tonnes of material required for construction was sourced from within 15 miles of the project.
As a signatory of the M74 Employability Partnership Charter agreed with the local authorities and Glasgow East Regeneration Agency we recruited local young people to work on the project.
“The Employability Partnership is providing valuable employment, skills and training for local people to work on a project that will not only boost Scotland’s economy but make a real contribution to the local area in which they live.” – Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson.
We worked on the scheme as part of the Interlink M74 consortium, a joint venture with Morgan Sindall, Balfour Beatty and Morrison Construction.
With construction in many areas taking place alongside railway lines, close liaison with Network Rail was essential.
“Since the start of site works, Interlink maintained a clear focus on minimising inconvenience to members of the public and has gone to great lengths to engage pro-actively with the affected communities and stakeholders. I would also commend the many community engagement activities of Interlink, together with their efforts to ensure that site welfare facilities were exemplary.” Stephen McFadden, Glasgow City Council
The project was honoured with the 2012 Saltire Award for Civil Engineering , while the Interlink M74 joint venture received a Gold Award from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) for its “commitment to continuous improvement” in health and safety.
The project won Gold at the Considerate Constructors Scheme National Site Awards 2011 and was rated ‘Excellent’ under CEEQUAL, the assessment and awards scheme for improving sustainability in civil engineering and the public realm.
The scheme won Sustainable Construction and Demolition Project of the Year at the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management Awards for Environmental Excellence and picked up a Green Apple Environment Award and an International Green Hero award from the Green Organisation.
The project team received a special commendation at the Vision in Business for the Environment of Scotland (VIBES) Awards 2010. The awards recognise the efforts of Scottish businesses to become more efficient and competitive through improving environmental performance.