M8 M73 M74 roads open in Spring 2017
Keith Brown has announced that, after more than three years in construction, all main roads connected with the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project were opened to traffic in Spring 2017, as originally planned.
The Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair work confirmed that, after a mammoth effort by the contractor, Scottish Roads Partnership, more than 20,000 road cones, enough to span the distance between Glasgow and Fort William, were removed from the road network over the last 24 hours.
That means the new and improved motorways across the project are now capable of operating at full capacity.
This paves the way for road users to enjoy the full benefits of the scheme, which include peak journey-time savings of 20 minutes on the M8 and 15 minutes at Raith Interchange.
Other key benefits include more reliable journey times, enhanced safety and reduced emissions.
Mr Brown said: “Yesterday was a momentous day for the project and for the Scottish economy.
“We removed the last of the traffic management so road users can experience the full benefits of the new roads connecting Main Street Scotland with a substantially improved motorway network.
“It’s another example of this Government’s commitment to successful infrastructure delivery to promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth.”
Positive feedback is already being received from the business community about the motorway improvements.
William Hill, CEO of HFD Group, which owns Strathclyde Business Park, said: “The connectivity we have now is excellent.
“We have over 300 businesses located at Strathclyde Business Park, employing in excess of 6,300 staff here and most of the occupiers that we’ve spoken to have reported a journey time saving of 15-20 minutes when travelling in from Edinburgh.
“Those who come in from Glasgow and more local towns have said they’ve reduced their journey times too, predominately because there are no longer any bottlenecks and traffic build-ups.”
One of the final pieces of traffic management to be removed opened the new bridge, which links the westbound A8 from Eurocentral to Shawhead.
This is expected to improve access for westbound M8 traffic looking to use the Bargeddie, Shawhead and Carnbroe junctions.
Mr Brown added: “My thanks to road users for their patience and understanding during this extensive project.
“We can now take the opportunity to bring forward planned maintenance activities on the network and we will combine these with essential finishing and snagging works, outwith peak traffic times, to minimise any further disruption. This work will continue until at least September."
Gabriel Valtuena Ramos, General Manager for Scottish Roads Partnership, said: "We are proud to have delivered this vital infrastructure scheme for Scotland which will bring major benefits to road users, communities and the economy."
This project has been a real feat in logistics and challenging technical accomplishments. From the ‘Cutty Sark’ railway bridge to the Raith Underpass, the project has brought enormous change to the Central Scotland road network, freeing up capacity and reducing journey times. People are being urged to familiarise themselves with the new layout by checking the route maps on the Transport Scotland website www.transport.gov.scot/m8opening
The Scottish Government is working with Scottish Roads Partnership (SRP), along with funding from the European Investment Bank and Allianz Global Investors, to deliver this vital infrastructure project linking the key arterial routes in Central Scotland. SRP is a consortium formed by Cintra, Amey, Meridiam and Aberdeen Asset Management.