M74 weekend closure will cause major delays

Bridge over the M74 at Bothwellpark, near Raith, is to be demolished this weeknd (Picture Alan Watson)
Bridge over the M74 at Bothwellpark, near Raith, is to be demolished this weeknd (Picture Alan Watson)

Motorists face major delays on the M74 and surrounding roads this weekend when the motorway closes to traffic in both directions between Junction 4, Maryville, and Junction 5, Raith.

The closure, from 8pm on Friday November 18 to 6am on Monday November 21, is to allow the demolition of Bothwellpark Road Bridge as part of the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project.

The bridge, to the north of Junction 5, Raith, is the final structure to be demolished as part of this £500m infrastructure improvement project being delivered by Scottish Roads Partnership (SRP) on behalf of Transport Scotland.

Graeme Reid, Transport Scotland Project Manager for the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project, said: “This is the most significant road closure we have implemented as part of the works and we are anticipating major delays on all approaches, the surrounding roads and the main diversion route.

“We are advising road users to plan their journey, avoid the area and surrounding local roads, and if possible, to use alternative modes of transport for the weekend.”

The weekend closure will mean no access from the M73 to the M74 southbound at Junction 4 Maryville or to the M74 northbound at Junction 5, Raith.

Signed diversion routes will be in place via the A725, A8 and the M73.

But Transport Scotland is warning road users to expect major delays on all surrounding routes as a result of the closure.

Graeme added: “On a typical weekend we can expect to see as many as 140,000 vehicles using this main arterial route, and we fully appreciate the disruption this will cause. Together with our contractor (SRP), we have been liaising with key stakeholders including the emergency services and local authorities to minimise the disruption and complete these works as quickly as possible.

“However, we need road users to play their part by avoiding the area where possible and using alternative modes of transport to keep traffic levels on the diversion route to an absolute minimum.”

Gabriel Valtueña-Ramos, General Manager of SRP, said: “We considered a range of options to undertake the demolition of the bridge and following extensive consultation with stakeholders, it was determined that the weekend closure was the most efficient solution in terms of reducing disruption to road users.”

Motorists will continue to have access to the M74 southbound at Junction 5 Raith, and the M74 northbound at Junctions 4 Maryville and 3A Daldowie; however, there will be no access to Bothwell Services from the M74 southbound.

The next available service area is the M74 southbound at Junction 11, Happendon and Junction 13, Abington.

In a bid to reduce local traffic congestion traffic signals will be monitored at key junctions on the surrounding roads network to improve traffic flows.

In addition, Scotrail is anticipating increased passenger numbers on Lanarkshire railway services and is providing extra capacity on the trains for the weekend.

When complete, the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project will significantly reduce congestion across the central Scotland motorway network, shaving approximately 20 minutes off the daily commute from Glasgow to Edinburgh and 15 minutes through Raith Junction 5.

More information on this closure is on the Transport Scotland website. Drivers are advised to check the Transport Scotland website and the Traffic Scotland website for live updates; www.transport.gov.scot and www.trafficscotland.org