The M8, M73, M74 Motorways Improvements Project took three years to build at a cost of £500 million but it all seems to have been worth it after Scotland’s biggest ever roads project received a prestigious award.
The major construction project – which completes the "missing link" in the Central Scotland Motorway Network – has won a Saltire Civil Engineering Award in the Infrastructure category during an awards ceremony hosted at Edinburgh’s National Museum of Scotland.
Keith Brown, cabinet secretary for economy, jobs and fair work, said: “This award is very well deserved as the project was a huge undertaking that presented a range of technical and logistical challenges within a demanding timeframe.”
The project combined the construction of a new motorway with upgrades to three of the busiest arterial motorways in Scotland, all with more than 100,000 vehicles using the network daily.
Some 23 miles of road network were improved during the project including the creation of a six-lane M8 motorway connecting Glasgow and Edinburgh, as well as three new motorway junctions and 6.2 miles of dual lane all-purpose roads. Two interchanges were also upgraded while 15.5 miles of motorway carriageway was widened.
A statement from the Institution of Civil Engineers – organisers of the Saltire Civil Engineering Awards 2017 – read: “Works impact was minimised with effective communications and community engagement.
“The construction and management of such a project requires skill and ingenuity. Raith Interchange and Braehead Rail Bridge particularly stand out in this regard.”
Elsewhere in the awards, a new tunnelled motorway that links Southern and Northern Stockholm in Sweden won the Designed in Scotland Award. With 11 of road’s 13-mile length in a tunnel, the impact on sensitive natural and cultural environments is minimised. When the route opens to traffic, it will form one of the longest road tunnels in the world.
Ben Robb, brand manager at Dieselink, adds: “The project has already been proven to improve journey times, and reduce congestion and emissions, while benefitting Scotland’s economy to the tune of more than £1 billion.”