Motorists are to face traffic chaos until Christmas when work begins as part of a project to reduce congestion and cut congestion times between Scotland’s biggest cities.
Major traffic management will begin on the M74, M73 and M8 in the Central Belt from 8 August to allow the existing overhead road signals to be replaced as part of a £500 million improvement project to Scotland’s motorway network.
Transport Scotland said delays were “inevitable” as works were carried out to the gantries on the motorway and advised motorists to look for alternative routes.
The carriageways will be reduced to two lanes in both directions and various slip roads will be closed at times.
The overall project is designed to cut the commute from Glasgow to Edinburgh by about 20 minutes.
Project manager Graeme Reid said: “Transport Scotland is working with the contractor to ensure these works are completed as quickly as possible.
“Whilst we’re doing everything we can to minimise the disruption, delays will be inevitable, so we’re asking motorists to check the Transport Scotland and Traffic Scotland websites for updates on these key routes, to plan their journeys in advance and to look at taking an alternative route if possible.”
Work on the M74 will begin on 8 August between junction 2A Fullarton and junction 6 Hamilton and will last about three months.
The project on the M8, which connects Edinburgh and Glasgow, will begin in the middle of August between junction 10 Easterhouse and junction 8 Baillieston and last about four months.
On the M73, work will begin in the middle of September between junction 1 Maryville and junction 2 Baillieston and last about six weeks.
Work on the Raith interchange on the M74, which will see drivers able to navigate the route without being slowed down by a roundabout, is due to be completed in autumn this year.
Total works to upgrade the M8, M73 and M74 began in February 2014 and is due to be completed in spring 2017.
Other works already completed include the installation of a 2,000 tonne railway bridge to carry the Rutherglen and Whifflet line over the new M8, while the upgrade of nearly seven miles of the existing A8 between Baillieston and Newhouse will result in a new motorway between Baillieston Interchange and Newhouse Junction, completing the M8 motorway link between the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh.