Main span of the Govan – Partick Bridge arrives

The main span of the Govan – Partick Bridge has on Saturday (14 October) arrived at Yorkhill Quay, close to the site where it will be installed, after sailing up the River Clyde by barge. This a Glasgow City Region City Deal project, with funding from the Scottish and UK Governments.

Main span of Govan - Partick Bridge arrives, 14 October.

The £29.5 million project includes the construction of a new pedestrian/cycle bridge over the River Clyde between Water Row in Govan and Pointhouse Quay in Partick, re-establishing the historic connection between the areas.

The bridge is significant economically, environmentally and socially through the link it will create between communities, visitor attractions and institutions of national economic importance, and is also a central part of the active travel route between the University of Glasgow’s campus at Gilmorehill and the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

The bridge span left Westdorpe in the Netherlands on 7 October – it was constructed in Belgium, before being transported along canals to Holland at which point the pylon and cabling was installed prior to sailing to the Clyde estuary and up the river.

The bridge span is six metres wide and was fabricated in two parts: the moving span, which weighs 650 tonnes, is 99 metres long and which will use the South Pier (at Water Row) as its access; and the fixed span, which weighs 45 tonnes and is 15.7 metres long.

The moving span will – weather permitting – be put in place this week after a set-up period for the lifting crane. The fixed span will be kept in storage until works on the North Pier and northern approach works are complete, and then installed in the summer of 2024 to complete the project.

In addition to the construction of the fabricated steel cable stayed opening swing bridge, the project – which began in April 2022 – will also feature:

  • Demolition of a sector of masonry/concrete wall and access stairs at Water Row, Govan;
  • Construction of a sheet piled quay wall and infilling to finished ground level to extend Pointhouse Quay to form the north bridge landing, access ramp and public realm;
  • Construction of a reinforced concrete abutment/quay wall and infilling of the disused Govan Ferry Inlet at Water Row in Govan to form the south landing;
  • Construction of bridge approach ramps, retaining walls, provision of drainage and public realm at the north and south bridge landings;
  • Bridge and public realm statutory feature lighting;
  • Diversion of the Scottish Water Combined Sewer Outfall at Pointhouse Quay;
  • Installation of timber fenders and access for a layby berth at Merklands Quay.

143 construction jobs will be supported through this project, and significant community benefits will be delivered, including starts for 11 new employees; five new apprentices and a new graduate; school mentoring, work placement, volunteering and work experience opportunities; business mentoring opportunities and supply chain briefings; and community engagement from the contractors, with both financial and non-financial support for local projects.

The Govan – Partick Bridge is key to and complements public and private sector investments such as the £38 million UK Government Strength In Places funding to help the University of Glasgow develop the Clyde Waterfront Innovation Campus next to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital; the ongoing Water Row (housing and commercial) development; and proposals for more than 1,000 homes at Yorkhill Quay.

Following construction of the bridge, it is expected that there will be 23% increase in jobs that are accessible within a 20-minute walk of Govan Cross and an 87% increase in the number of jobs within a 10-minute cycle of Govan Cross.

Councillor Susan Aitken, Chair of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet, said: “The arrival of the main span of the Govan-Partick Bridge is a major milestone for the project and a remarkable sight on the Clyde.  When complete, the bridge will benefit those visiting, living and working in Govan and Partick, but also the entirety of the city and wider region.

The creation of an active travel connection between the West End and the South Side can boost local economies and complement significant regeneration projects between the University of Glasgow and the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and on both banks of the Clyde.”

Scottish Government Wellbeing Economy Secretary Neil Gray said: “I welcome this significant step towards reconnecting Govan and Partick. This will boost the local and wider economy and give people in Govan access to more jobs, visitor attractions and the University of Glasgow.  By expanding options for active travel and bringing communities together, we are delivering a fairer, greener and growing economy.”

UK Government Minister for Scotland Malcolm Offord said: “The opening of the Govan-Partick bridge will be an exciting moment for the community.  This bridge will create a brand-new pedestrian friendly connection to bring the communities together and support redevelopment and business growth.  The UK Government is supporting the project as part of £524 million investment in the Glasgow City Region Deal.”

David Buchanan, Project Manager for Farrans Construction, said: “The arrival of the main span of the Govan – Partick Bridge represents a key milestone in this project and an exciting period of activity for our team. There are many factors to consider with a civil engineering operation such as this one, most of which we are able to plan, however we also have changeable elements like the weather and tides to contend with. The crane we will use for the bridge is the Hebo Lift 10 which is capable of lifting 2200 tonnes. To have the Bridge and crane here and ready to progress means that we are moving into the final stage of this important project. I would like to thank our client, supply chain and the local community for continuing to work closely with us to facilitate major events like this one.”