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Last Updated: Monday, 18 September 2006, 10:40 GMT 11:40 UK
'Squinty' bridge open to vehicles

The first new road bridge to be built over the River Clyde for more than 30 years has been opened.

The 20m Clyde Arc, west of the Kingston motorway link in Glasgow city centre, was declared open by Willie Haughey OBE at an official ceremony.

Glaswegians have dubbed it the "Squinty Bridge" because it crosses the river diagonally to link the north and south.

Planners said the four-lane bridge would help in the regeneration of the riverside area of the city.

It links Finnieston near the SECC on the north bank to the Pacific Quay site on the south side.

The bridge was opened by Scottish Enterprise Glasgow Chairman Willie Haughey OBE.

He said: "Work to turn Pacific Quay into the city's media and creative industry quarter is pushing ahead and this crossing will open up the site and the surrounding area to new development and investment opportunities."

'Iconic structure'

Both BBC Scotland and the Scottish Media Group are in the process of opening new corporate headquarters on the former Garden Festival site.

The bridge will be an iconic image of Glasgow, it is spectacular
Alistair Campbell
Director Design is Central

Glasgow City Council Leader Steven Purcell said: "This is an iconic structure and a symbol of the ongoing regeneration of the Clyde.

"The Clyde Arc connects once derelict banks of the river to new and thriving neighbourhoods which have become the catalyst for a city-wide renaissance."

Alan Somerville, director of Pacific Quay Developments, said: "The opening is a significant milestone in the regeneration of the entire Pacific Quay area.

"It will improve access to what will be seen as one of the most important city centre regeneration sites in the UK."

The Arc spans 140 metres and was designed by engineering consultancy Halcrow.

Iain Salisbury, project director, said: "The setting of the bridge makes its visual appeal vitally important.

"The final blueprint is a simple, classic design which reflects Glasgow's reputation as a city with style."

'Dramatic visual impact'

The bridge has the capability to cope with the addition of a tram system in the future.

It was built by Kilsyth-based civil engineering contractor Edmund Nuttall Ltd.

James Scobie, divisional director for Scotland, said: "We are delighted that the new crossing has delivered the dramatic visual impact that we envisaged as we developed the design."

The construction of the bridge was photographed every five minutes over a year by digital design firm, Design is Central, for a time lapse film.

Director Alistair McCallum said: "It was a challenging project.

"The bridge will be an iconic image of Glasgow like the view from Edinburgh's Calton Hill or across the Mersey in Liverpool.

"It is spectaular and quite a change."

A cavalcade of historic vehicles were the first to cross the new bridge.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
See the bridge being opened to the public



SEE ALSO
In pictures: 'Squinty' bridge
18 Sep 06 |  In Pictures
Protesters disrupt bridge opening
18 Sep 06 |  Glasgow and West
Hard work flows from river views
30 Aug 06 |  Glasgow and West
Moves to re-invent the river bank
12 Aug 06 |  Scotland
Work ends on new BBC Scotland HQ
03 Aug 06 |  Scotland

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