M8, M73 and M74 motorway improvements

Year:2017

Duration:3 years

Cost:£500m

Country: Scotland

What did this project achieve?

Upgrade motorways across central Scotland

Improvements to the M8, M73, M74 motorways is one of Scotland’s largest infrastructure projects. It completes the missing link in central Scotland’s motorway network.

The project has brought safer roads with improved connections, journey time reliability and a better quality of life for road users, communities and industry in the west of Scotland and beyond.

The works have provided help in promoting significant sustainable economic growth.

It combined the construction of a new motorway with upgrades to 3 of the busiest arterial motorways in Scotland – with more than 100,000 vehicles using the network daily.

Project achievements and benefits

This 3 year, £500m investment in Scotland’s 50-year-old motorway infrastructure improved 37km of road network and included:

  • a new 12km, 6-lane M8 motorway connecting Scotland’s largest cities Glasgow and Edinburgh by continuous motorway for the first time
  • 3 new motorway junctions
  • 10km of dual lane all-purpose roads
  • widening of 25km of motorway carriageways
  • upgrades to 2 interchanges
  • construction or upgrade of 70 structures
  • latest technology to support safe driving experience
  • improved air and water quality and reduced noise impact

Engineers also had the challenge of constructing the underpass below the water table of the nearby River Clyde at the new Raith junction as well as relocating a significant number of underground utilities.

The M8, M73, M74 motorway improvements is one of the first major road projects in Scotland to pioneer the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM), the cutting-edge 3D technology revolutionising civil engineering.

BIM uses digital technology to help design, build, maintain and manage construction projects more effectively throughout their lifecycle. Intelligent 3D models of new infrastructure, which include everything from the underground location of utility services to the type of street lighting installed – even the wattage of a bulb to be replaced – is all available at the touch of button.

The completed project delivers improved journey times and reliability through the central Scotland motorway network and promotes sustainable economic growth by improving access to facilities and employment areas.

The new infrastructure provides better connectivity, reducing the time to transport goods and services.

It has cut congestion and improved road safety through traffic reduction on local roads and reduced lane changing and helps prevent weaving between lanes.

A commitment to social responsibility and the environment saw 95% of all waste produced onsite recycled. Works impact was minimised with an effective communications strategy and community engagement programme, including supporting local charities, social and educational programmes and provision of significant local training, short and long-term employment opportunities.

Communities living in the vicinity of the project benefit from separation of strategic and local traffic and a reduction in traffic on local roads. Journey time reliability improvements – up to 20 minutes saved on M8 and up to 15-20 minutes at M74 Raith Junction in peak.

Environmental impact was minimised through studies and surveys and the introduction of mitigation measures including mammal tunnels, fences and bridges to help continued movement of local wildlife, noise attenuation barriers and sustainable drainage systems.

The scheme design included earth bunds, fencing and special road surfacing to mitigate road noise. Some properties qualified for noise insulation. Noise surveys carried out pre and post construction will be repeated at years 5, 10 and 15 after the road opening.

“​‌

Here at Raith Interchange digital is improving communication and coordination between design and construction teams and resulting in better, more resilient infrastructure and saving time and money. Better communication with road users and local communities is another key benefit.

Professor Tim Broyd

ICE President 2016-2017

Fascinating facts

The 12km, 6 lane M8 motorway connects Scotland’s biggest cities Glasgow and Edinburgh by continuous motorway for the first time.

It’s one of the first major road projects in Scotland to use Building Information Modelling (BIM).

3 new motorway junctions, 10km of dual lane all-purpose roads, 25km of widened motorway carriageways, 2 upgraded interchanges and 70 structures constructed or upgraded.

People who made it happen

  • Transport Scotland
  • Scottish Roads Partnership
  • Ferrovial Agroman UK 
  • Lagan Construction Group
  • Amey OW
  • Amey LG
  • Mouchel Fairhurst

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