Canal footbridge lifted into place

THE regeneration of north Glasgow was boosted when a new footbridge was craned into place.

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A new footbridge was lifted into place over the canal at Spiers Wharf
A new footbridge was lifted into place over the canal at Spiers Wharf

The bridge over the Forth and Clyde Canal at Spiers Wharf will improve access for businesses, residents and visitors.

The 20-metre structure, which weighs 11 tonnes, was made in Sheffield and driven to the city in two sections.

A 100 tonne crane is being used to manoeuvre them into place over the water.

They will be positioned on the concrete piers of the Second World War stop locks which were built as part of the city's flood prevention system in the event the canal was bombed during the Blitz.

Scottish Canals say the project will also result in new towpaths, lighting, landscaping and a mooring for residential barges along the canal banks.

The bridge forms the final piece of the Landscape Link project which aims to improve pedestrian and cycle access between the north of the city and the city centre.

It began with the creation of the Phoenix Flowers, also known as the metal petals, at Cowcaddens.

Richard Millar, director of heritage, enterprise and sustainability at Scottish Canals, said: "From the water to the banks and beyond, Scottish Canals is committed to using the waterways innovatively and driving forward the regeneration of North Glasgow.

"The installation of the bridge is the latest stage in the on-going transformation of the area and marks a major improvement in access between North Glasgow and the city centre."

A number of creative organisations, including Scottish Opera and the National Theatre for Scotland, have moved into the cultural quarter at Speirs Locks.

And Scotland's first urban watersports centre has taken up residence at nearby Pinkston Basin.

Mr Millar said: "The new bridge should encourage even more people to explore the changing face of North Glasgow, stimulate economic activity and bring employment and increased vibrancy to the area."

Spiers Wharf will also play host to a Dutch barge when it makes its journey to the canal later this year.

The restoration and return of the century old vessel is part of a Scottish Canals drive to bring tall-masted ships back to the waterway.

The craft will be available for a range of uses, from a quirky holiday home to an unusual meeting or event space and its towering mast will be seen from the nearby M8 and city centre.

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