Saturday 5 June 2010

M74 visit

Yesterday afternoon, I joined my colleagues George Roberts and David Turner to visit works on the M74 extension.

I've been watching the
progress as everyone else has so far, from a distance - it was nice to get the opportunity to see it up close and learn more about the challenges and technical aspects of this massive engineering project.

The project is at different stages of development along the route - some parts are actually having tarmac laid at the moment, some of the viaducts are still being launched on others. The scale is impressive; at Carmyle, the world's biggest crane is preparing to shift chunks of steel across the Clyde. At Rutherglen, the viaduct is inching it's way across the railway line. At Kingston, work is going on high above the ground, with sections rolling into place. The prefabricated parts have been slotted together perfect to the millimetre.

It's also worth noting that the project is worth £445m - with 87% of the cost being met by the Scottish Government. It has kept apprentices and workers in employment, and is a significant investment in Glasgow and the wider west of Scotland. I found out also that a lot of the rubble for the road is coming from demolitions around the country - materials which would normally have gone to landfill. So, while road building isn't usually great news for the environment, the M74 does involve some recycling.

I've posted a few pictures below to show the scale of the development.

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