The new M8 connecting Glasgow and Edinburgh by continuous motorway for the first time opens to traffic marking a major milestone on the £500m infrastructure scheme.
A phased opening of the newly completed section of the M8 motorway connecting Scotland’s two largest cities began on Sunday 23 April. The complex construction of the new 5km section of motorway and upgrade to the existing M8 corridoor is being delivered by the Ferrovial Agroman/Lagan Construction Group Joint Venture. It completes the busiest arterial route in Scotland.
Scottish Motorway Improvements ProjectThe announcement is a landmark for the £500m M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project which was awarded in February 2014 to Scottish Roads Partnership, a consortium formed by Cintra, Amey (both Ferrovial Group companies), Meridiam and Aberdeen Asset Management, with senior financing provided by the European Investment Bank via a long-term loan, and list deferred drawn bonds managed by Allianz Global Investors. During a site visit on Wednesday 12 April, Gabriel Valtueña-Ramos, General Manager of SRP, and Mario Móstoles, Managing Director of Ferrovial Agroman UK and Ireland, met with Keith Brown, the Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, to announce the phased opening of the new M8 from Sunday 23 April 2017 – five days ahead of schedule. Gabriel Valtueña-Ramos said:
“SRP is proud to have delivered this major and strategic infrastructure for Scotland in spring 2017, as it was initially planned. I believe this is a good example of how Ferrovial can provide synergies between Cintra, Ferrovial Agroman and Amey, in order to create value and deliver such a key infrastructure for Scotland on time.”Keith Brown added:
“This investment will make a tangible difference to our economy, improving business links and connectivity, as well as reducing journey times for road users who rely on this route for part of their daily commutes.”Works to connect the newly built M8 to the existing motorway at Baillieston Interchange began on 17 February 2017. The construction process involved removing 13,000m² of existing carriageway and 40,000m³ of earth to connect the existing road to the new M8 motorway, which is approximately 5m lower. Following the excavation, 12,000 tonnes of wearing course was laid to finally complete the newly constructed carriageways. A new dual carriageway All Purpose Road is also being created to separate local and strategic traffic and increase traffic flows on the network which is used by 100,000 vehicles daily. The M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project represents a significant investment to upgrade Central Scotland’s motorway network and aims to tackle congestion problems on the A8/M8, M73 and M74, particularly at key junctions including Raith (A725/M74) and Shawhead (A725/A8).