Kingston Bridge, Glasgow

Kingston Bridge, Glasgow

Infobox Bridge
bridge_name = Kingston Bridge

caption= Kingston Bridge, looking eastward up the River Clyde.
official_name = Kingston Bridge
locale = Glasgow, Scotland
carries = Motor vehicles only (motorway bridge)
crosses = River Clyde
open = June 26, 1970
traffic = 150,000 vehicles
design = cantilever bridge, hollow box (haunched) - designer: William A. Fairhurst
toll = Free
mainspan = 143 m (470 ft) (side spans 62.5 m)
width = Dual five-lane carriageway
coordinates= coord|55|51|19|N|4|16|12|W|region:GB_type:landmark|display=inline,title
The Kingston Bridge is a ten lane road bridge crossing the River Clyde in Glasgow, Scotland. The bridge carries the M8 motorway through the city centre. The Kingston Bridge is one of the busiest road bridges in Europe, carrying around 150,000 vehicles every day. [ BBC News article on the bridge reopening after remedial work] [ Scottish Government Tolled Bridges Review 2004]

The bridge connects Anderston and the city centre at Junction 18/19 with Tradeston and the Gorbals at Junction 20. The bridge is notionally five lanes each way, however, approaches to the bridge are linked with many junctions of their own, including major city centre ramps and the M77, that are two lanes wide.

When opened by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1970, the bridge was designed to handle only 20,000 vehicles a day. By 1990, the sheer volume and weight of traffic, combined with poor design, resulted in serious structural deterioration being discovered in the bridge [ Report in Concrete magazine, Nov/Dec 2001] A decade-long repair and renovation programme was initiated to repair and strengthen the bridge. These repairs have involved raising the bridge, while still operational, to allow the construction of new supports, before lowering the bridge onto strengthened supports.

An attempt to solve the problem is the M74 northern extension, to act as the southern flank of the unbuilt Glasgow Inner Ring Road first planned in the 1960s. The existing "ski ramp" where the Inner Ring was intended to continue on will remain unused; the extended M74 is planned to meet the M8 a few hundred yards further south. This change of plan from the Scottish Executive is because of the Kingston Bridge's inability to handle an increase in traffic: the thinking is that the increased traffic from the new road will not then go straight over the bridge. At the Public Inquiry into the road scheme, critics countered that this would mean an increase in ground-level traffic in the Tradeston area as commuters attempt to gain access to the bridge's access ramps. [ Report on objections made during public enquiry]

With the M74 extension project not due for completion until early 2011, a shorter term solution to the congestion problems has been the Clyde Arc or "Squinty Bridge", which opened in September 2006 - this route is expected to take at least some of the local short-distance traffic away from the Kingston.

There is a dubious urban myth that the fourth man in the Williamwood bank robbery is buried in the pillars of the bridge.

ee also

*M8 motorway

Notes & references

External links

* [ Glasgow City Council page on Transport in Glasgow]
* [ 'Chroma Streams: Tide and Traffic' - lighting art project]
* [ Photograph of the Kingston Bridge in Glasgow]
*Structurae|id=s0004204|title=Kingston Bridge

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