Work has started on a new landmark Forth & Clyde Canal bridge in the northwest of Glasgow.
The £12million bridge will link the communities of Maryhill, Gilshochill and Ruchill in the city for the first time since the waterway opened in 1790.
The active travel project, delivered by Scottish Canals with funding from Sustrans and the Glasgow City Council Vacant Derelict Land Fund, will also result in a new public recreational space on a currently vacant site.
Work is expected to complete in summer 2022.
Catherine Topley chief executive Scottish Canals said: “The future successful development of the communities of Maryhill, Ruchill and Gilshochill is dependent on access to services, facilities and employment, this new bridge will help open up access to all of these while significantly improving active travel options along the canal.
“This will be an iconic structure helping to attract people into the area while encouraging even more people to use the canal as a means of getting around the city.”
The bridge is to be of a curved design with a viewing platform. The main foundation pile will be on the east bank at Ruchill sweeping west to Gilshochill and south to Maryhill.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson commented: “It’s great to see work commencing on an exciting new bridge for the Forth and Clyde Canal at Stockingfield Junction. Funded by the Scottish Government through the Sustrans Places for Everyone programme, this new bridge will offer people living and visiting North Glasgow better walking, wheeling and cycling connectivity than before.
“The Stockingfield Bridge will make it even easier for the communities of Maryhill, Ruchill and Gilshochill to get around locally in a sustainable way, as well as accessing the fantastic nature reserve at Possil Marsh. At the same time, it completes a missing link in the National Cycle Network Route 754, which offers a traffic-free route between Glasgow and Edinburgh via the spectacular Falkirk Wheel.
“We’re continuing to invest in permanent active travel infrastructure to help make walking, wheeling and cycling the easy choice for everyday journeys. Scotland’s Canals are uniquely suited to support this ambition and we are lucky to benefit from these historic assets. For our health, wellbeing and to respond to the climate emergency, we’ll continue to support similar projects across Scotland as we work to build an Active Nation.”
As part of the construction it will be necessary to temporarily close sections of the Forth & Clyde and Glasgow Branch canal towpaths.
These will be closed at Stockingfield Junction from November 2020 to approximately July 2022. Active travel diversion routes will be published before the closure. Meanwhile, the canal itself will also be closed to all traffic at the junction from November 1 to March 15 2021.
Karen McGregor, Director of Scotland for Sustrans added: “Sustrans is delighted to be supporting the construction of the new Stockingfield bridge though our Places for Everyone scheme. The new bridge will open up opportunities for local people and make it easier to travel along the canal, whether you walk, wheel or cycle. It’s fantastic to bring the communities of Maryhill, Ruchill and Gilshochill back together.”
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