The 5 best Glasgow Clyde Bridges
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It is often said that “Glasgow made the Clyde, and the Clyde made Glasgow”, because when our river was made navigable between the 18th and the 19th centuries, the city’s commerce and industries flourished.
But at the same time, canalising and deepening the river bed for ships’ navigation, result in the removal, design or rebuilt of a lot of bridges to make our river accessible to people and vehicles. The Glasgow Clyde Bridges reflect the glorious growth of Glasgow and its current regeneration.
Nowadays, walking from the Erkskine Bridge (situated at the further west) to Hamilton Road Bridge (at the further east) or from the Victoria Bridge (the oldest surviving bridge, built in 1854) to the modern and iconic Clyde Arc Bridge, showcases the Clyde River as a recreational and residential area through a successful regeneration.
Furthermore, this walk would allow the discovery of more than 150 years of civil engineering history. All bridge types are represented on the Clyde: a combination of road, rail and footbridges, designed for a range of different types of transport, built with wood and stone to cast iron, steel or concrete, using a multitude of different constructive techniques.
Walk around St. Andrew’s Suspension Bridge
Its construction was promoted by businessman Bailie Harvey. Built in 1854, the St. Andrew’s Suspension Bridge was opened in 1855, connecting the Glasgow Green to the north with Hutchesontown to the south. It was intended to replace a busy ferry which allowed the transport of workers from their homes from Bridgeton & Calton to reach factories in Hutchesontown. Not much has been altered since.
Designed by the engineer Neil Robinson, the architect for the supporting pylons was Charles O’Neill and the contractor was P&W McLellan. Its most striking features are the Corinthian columns which stand almost 6 meters in height. The cost was £6,348.
The iron bridge was repaired in 1871 and 1905, with another major refurbishment programme that was undertaken between 1996 and 1998. It is a category A listed structure.
Not much has been altered since 1855.
Visit Clyde Arc Bridge
Opened in 2006, the Clyde Arc Bridge improves the accessibility from the Pacific Quay development area on the south bank, with Finnieston Street on the north bank. During its design and construction it was known as the Finnieston Bridge, but it is now referred locally as the Squinty Bridge because of its diagonal situation.
The £20m Clyde Arc Bridge was the first road bridge to be built across the river Clyde since 1969. It also features cycleways and pedestrian footpaths.
The bridge was designed by the engineering consultancy Halcrow Group, and built by the civil engineering company Edmund Nuttall Ltd. Glasgow City Council instigated the project in conjunction with Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government.
Nowadays, the four-lane bridge is an iconic image of Glasgow and a symbol of regeneration.
Known locally as the Squinty Bridge.
Admire the Albert Bridge
The historic Albert Bridge, named after Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, was opened in 1871, linking Saltmarket and the City centre with Crown Street, on the Southside bank. The population of the city at the moment was 77,000 people.
Designed by the engineer R. Bell & D. Miller, the Albert Bridge has four-lanes and three arches, and is founded on concrete piers, with abutments filled with cast iron caissons and adorned with Prince Albert’s Royal coat of arms.
A successful £3.5 million refurbishment plan was completed between 2015 and 2016.
It was the third road bridge built over the River Clyde, following the Victoria Bridge and the Glasgow Bridge, and being the fifth bridge to be built on this site in Glasgow. The cost was £62,328 and it is a category A listed structure.
Fifth bridge to be built on this site in Glasgow.
Discover the Victoria Bridge
Opened in 1854, Victoria Bridge is a pedestrian and road bridge between Stockwell Green and Gorbals Road, and the oldest surviving bridge in Glasgow.
Built in light-coloured sandstone and granite, the five segmental arches bridge was designed by engineer James Wallker and constructed by William York, replacing the existing Bishop’s bridge, which couldn’t cope with the demands of a risen Glasgow population.
It is an A-listed building and it measures 50 ft (15 meters) wide, an impressive achievement of this period.
Designed by the renowned Sir Joseph Paxton.
See the Tradeston Bridge
The Tradeston Bridge, colloquially known as the Squiggly Bridge, crosses the River Clyde, linking the districts of Anderston, on the north bank, with Tradeston, on the south bank.
Designed by Dissing+Weitling, a Danish firm and built by BAM Nuttall, the £7 million structure was opened in 2009 and is used by pedestrians and cyclists, with no motorised traffic being allowed upon it.
The bridge is horizontally curved in an S shape with outward canting on both curves, and has become a new symbol of Glasgow.
Colloquially known as the Squiggly Bridge.
The Clyde River as we know it today –canalised and with a deep riverbed – is very different to the one that existed during the 14th to the 18th centuries, when the river was very much shallower and with sand banks. In fact, Glaswegians would have been able to cross it on foot at certain times of the year.
Research led by SUZANNAH HENDERSON ׀
Date of the Research: 4-10 FEBRUARY 2019 ׀
Publication date: 11 FEBRUARY 2019
Review date: 11 FEBRUARY 2020
Scope of the research & essential inclusion criteria:
|Currently, the bridge exists.|
3 Convenience for users.
4 Maintenance / Current conditions.
5 Decorative lighting.
6 Length of use.
7 Access to pedestrians and / or vehicles.
8 Novel/ innovative construction techniques.
Premium Validation criteria:
9 Beauty of the bridge and ornaments.
10 Night illumination for users.
11 Difficulty of Construction Techniques.
12 Estimated number of users.
13 Can be accessed by visitors.
14 Disabled accessibility.
16 Information on the site about the bridge.
16 Other features.