Largest crane used for new M74 bridge over the Clyde

Image caption,
The crane will be used to erect beams for the new Auchenshuggle Bridge

Work is under way on a huge bridge which will carry the new M74 extension over the River Clyde.

The largest crane in Europe is being used to erect massive steel beams for the Auchenshuggle Bridge.

On a visit to the site, Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson vowed that the major motorway project would be completed on schedule next year.

He said work on the new road was providing vital jobs and helping boost economic recovery.

The bridge is the only one of the 13 major structures on the new motorway to pass over water.

Mr Stevenson, said: "The commencement of steel erection for the Auchenshuggle Bridge is another significant milestone in the construction of the M74 Completion project.

"The fact that Europe's largest mobile crane is needed to carry out the work shows what a complex civil engineering operation it is.

"The public can be assured that this project to complete the missing link between the existing M74 and the M8 is on schedule for opening next year."

Urban regeneration

He added: "The M74 project, one of the largest construction projects on the ground in Scotland at present, is already providing vital jobs and investment for the hard pressed construction industry.

"Marrying these benefits to the new transport links the M74 completion will bring, and the enormous potential for further urban regeneration programmes in the area, many of which are already in development, underlines the importance of Scottish government investment in our transport infrastructure."

The 190ft crane has already been used to lift beams for the new M74 link bridge over the M8 into place and to slot the Harthill footbridge into place.

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