Page last updated at 10:44 GMT, Friday, 17 July 2009 11:44 UK

Jam warning as work begins on M8

Arkleston Bridge
The Arkleston Bridge will be raised by 150mm and have a new central pier

Drivers will be sent text messages reminding them of possible delays as eight weeks of roadworks affect Scotland's busiest motorway.

A £1.2m project to raise and strengthen the Arkleston Bridge, over the M8 east of Glasgow Airport starts on Friday.

Road maintenance firm Amey will, for the first time, send out texts on Sunday evening, warning of congestion during rush-hour on Monday.

Drivers can subscribe by texting TRAVEL to 84880.

During the work, the motorway will be reduced to two narrow lanes in both directions with a temporary speed limit of 40mph.

Glasgow Fair

The restrictions coincide with the Glasgow Fair holiday, which traditionally sees large numbers of people heading for the airport.

Despite that, Amey believes traffic volumes will still be lower than usual because of the school holidays.

Amey unit manager Colin Mackenzie said the text message system would remind drivers to allow extra time for their journeys on Monday, which is likely to see some of the worst delays.

This is a major programme of works which will bring long-term benefits for road users
Andrew Brodie
Transport Scotland

He said: "Motorway maintenance works are very necessary but delays are often unavoidable and we understand that this can cause frustration.

"To help drivers plan their journeys, we always work hard to publicise major roadworks but we regularly find that the first commuter day of any project is the worst for congestion.

"We hope that the additional element of text communication will help improve journey times during these bridge works."

The Arkleston bridge, which crosses the M8 near Hillington, will be raised by 150mm and a new solid central pier and safety barriers constructed.

A number of high vehicles have struck the bridge since it was built in 1968. In September last year a lorry carrying a flat bed trailer hit the bridge's steel beams, causing major disruption.

Andrew Brodie, senior engineer at Transport Scotland, said: "This is the first major overhaul of Arkleston Bridge in over 40 years and brings it into line with other bridges on the M8.

"This is a major programme of works which will bring long-term benefits for road users as we anticipate fewer incidents once the height of the bridge is raised."



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SEE ALSO
Bridge raised over safety fears
02 Jul 09 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West

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