M8 M73 M74 – Completing central Scotland’s motorway network
Geared to completing the Central Scotland motorway network, the M8 M73 M74 motorway improvements project now underway, will bring many benefits, including less congestion and safer, quicker journeys.
This scheme to upgrade the core of Scotland’s motorway network will also boost Scotland’s economy by improving connections between the commercial centres of Glasgow and Edinburgh and beyond.
In addition, this major transport infrastructure project supports hundreds of skilled jobs in the hard pressed construction industry over the duration of the works.
The improvements will help: promote sustainable economic growth by improving access to facilities and employment areas; reduce emissions and tackle climate change by improving air quality and providing health improvement; reduce the time taken to transport goods and services; cut congestion and improve road safety through the reduction of traffic on local roads, reducing lane changing and helping prevent weaving between lanes.
Following the successful delivery of the M80 Stepps to Haggs motorway and the M74 completion project, the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements project was procured and promoted by Transport Scotland.
The project is being carried out by Scottish Roads Partnership (SRP), a consortium with a construction joint venture of Ferrovial Agroman and Lagan, which is now undertaking a programme of major motorway construction, widening and other works.
SRP is also responsible for the management, operation and maintenance (routine, winter and major maintenance works) of this core section of the motorway network for the next 30 years following completion of the new roads, through consortium member Amey.
The motorway improvements include the provision of a new motorway between Baillieston and Newhouse; a new all-purpose A8 between Baillieston and Eurocentral; improvements to Raith Interchange on the M74 and improvements to other key sections of the M8, M73 and M74.
The new M8 completes the motorway link between Glasgow and Edinburgh. It will connect with the existing motorway at Baillieston and follow a route to the south of the existing A8, to Eurocentral.
The upgrade of the A8 between Baillieston to Newhouse includes: 2 km of online dual three-lane motorway; 5 km of offline dual three-lane motorway; 3 km of online dual two-lane motorway; 10 km of dual two-lane all-purpose road incorporating nearly 5 km of existing A8; and 16 km of pedestrian/cycle paths.
The upgrade will also provide: three new motorway junctions at Shawhead, Eurocentral and Chapelhall; two amended motorway junctions at Baillieston and Newhouse and two railway bridges, including a new Braehead (Cutty Sark) structure and 30 road structures, including a major crossing of the North Calder Water.
There will also be capacity improvements on M8 Eastbound, Junction 9 to Baillieston Interchange, as well as significant environmental mitigation and enhancement works.
Between Eurocentral and Newhouse, the A8 will be upgraded to motorway standard, and will link with the existing M8 motorway to the east of Newhouse.
The existing A8 will remain between Baillieston and Eurocentral, joining with the A89 just north of Baillieston. The creation of new local roads on either side of the new motorway between Eurocentral and Newhouse will allow easy access to the motorway and adjacent communities.
The improvement works at Raith include: realignment of the A725 over a length of 1.8 km; provision of an underpass structure for the A725, with one bridge carrying the M74 and two bridges carrying the Raith roundabout; realignment of the Raith roundabout on the south of the M74; provision of a new link road between the B7071 and Raith roundabout with a signalised junction at the A725 eastbound off slip, and modifications to the M74 slip roads.
Other works in this element of the scheme include: provision of new pedestrian/cyclist links including bridges over the Raith roundabout to the north and south of the M74, a new link to the proposed National Cycle Network 74, and signalised crossing points.
Further works comprise: provision of an additional lane on the southbound M74 between Raith Junction (5) and Hamilton Junction (6); demolition of the existing Bothwell Park Road access bridge over the M74, to the north of Raith junction, and construction of a new realigned bridge at this location.
In addition, a new private access road will be provided through Strathclyde Country Park.
A sustainable urban drainage system and flood water storage areas will also be provided, together with environmental mitigation and enhancement works.
Another key element of the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project is a series of enhancements to the network of roads and junctions which connect to the three main routes.
The works principally consist of widening the existing carriageway by creating an additional lane at various locations to tackle congestion at peak times.