"Significant delays" ahead during ten-week M8 roadworks

Drivers will be diverted off the M8 and A8 in Glasgow for ten weeks during completion of a new motorway section, it was confirmed today.

Drivers will be diverted for some ten weeks. Picture: Transport Scotland

The work starts on Friday, 17 February near the Baillieston interchange on the eastern edge of Glasgow, and is expected to last for ten weeks.

The Scottish Government's Transport Scotland agency warned motorists to expect "significant delays" on M8, A8, M73 and surrounding roads near the interchange - junction eight on the M8 and junction two on the M73.

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The news follows Scotland on Sunday's revelation last month of the impending disruption, as part of construction of the final section of the M8 between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

M8 and A8 traffic will be diverted to the north of the current route. Picture: Transport Scotland

East and westbound traffic will be diverted via a newly-aligned section of the A8 near Bargeddie, east of Baillieston.

Transport Scotland said the diversion was necessary to connect the newly built M8 to the existing motorway at Baillieston interchange.

The work will involve removing 13,000 square metres of existing carriageway and 40,000 cubic metres of earth to connect the new M8 to the existing M8, which is approximately 5m (17ft) higher.

M8 and A8 traffic will be diverted to the north of the current route. Picture: Transport Scotland

Following the excavation, 1.5km (one mile) of drainage and 12,000 tonnes of road surface will then be laid to complete the M8 "missing link" and enable the first new section, between Baillieston and Eurocentral, to open to traffic for the first time.

Graeme Reid, Transport Scotland project manager for the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project, said: “This is the most significant peak time traffic management we have implemented as part of the works, and we are anticipating major delays on all approaches to the Baillieston interchange and the surrounding roads.

“These works are a necessary part of completing this project and we are working with the contractor and Police Scotland and the local authorities to minimise disruption and to complete the connection of the carriageways at the earliest opportunity.

“Whilst delays are inevitable on a project of this scale and complexity, and the impact this has on the travelling public is regrettable, these works are necessary to complete the M8 Missing Link.

"Road users can look forward to realising the benefits of the new motorway when it fully opens to traffic upon completion of these works in the spring."

During the diversion, two lanes of traffic will be maintained during peak times and signed diversion routes will be in place on all approaches to the Baillieston interchange including the A8, M8, M73, and the surrounding roads.

Chief Inspector Craig Linton of Police Scotland said: "We will ensure the diversionary routes are adequately patrolled.

"I would remind motorists of the reduced speed limits which are still in place, which are necessary to ensure drivers are able to cope safely with the inevitable effects of the road works such as narrowed lanes, changing lanes, contraflow and construction traffic.

"As an additional safety measure, highly-visible average speed cameras will cover the area of the works to encourage motorists to respect the reduced speed limit.

"Please be aware that diversions are likely to be busier than normal due to the works, and I would ask people to plan ahead, build in more time for your journey if necessary and drive appropriately for the conditions."

Neil Greig, policy and research director of the IAM RoadSmart motoring group, said: “The delays these roadworks will cause should not be underestimated by drivers.

"The extensive monitoring and management of the works are reassuring, but it will remain to be seen if the promised 'adequate' levels of policing will be enough to keep incidents, delays and stress to a minimum.”

The westbound carriageway of the A89 between Langmuir Road and the new Bargeddie roundabout will also be closed during the roadworks.

A temporary roundabout will also be in place on the A752 Aitkenhead Road on the approach to the A8 Bargeddie Junction for westbound traffic.

Full details and more maps: http://www.transport.gov.scot/a8diversion