Transport Scotland, an entity set up by the Scottish Government, carried out a vital upgrade of the 18km section of M 80 Stepps to Haggs, which is located between Glasgow and Stirling. As part of the project, the road between Stepps and Haggs was upgraded to motorway standard.

The route of the project was from Haggs Junction to Hornshill Junction. The total cost of the upgrade was £320m ($495.96m). Work began in January 2009 and was completed on 26 August 2011. Around 500 jobs were generated by the project.

M80 Stepps to Haggs upgrade project construction

In October 2009, advance works on the greenfield portion of the Stepps to Mollinsburn segment were completed.

These works included utility diversions, removal of topsoil and environmental mitigation. Earthworks related to the construction of concrete structures in the section were also started.

The upgrade project achieved a major milestone in March 2010 following completion of the Mollinsburn Overbridge. More than 100m of steel beams weighing 270t were lowered on the sub-structure using a 1,200t mobile crane. Work on the Mollinsburn Interchange was also completed.

“About 500 jobs were created by the upgrade project.”

Other works in the project included the construction of a road drainage system with ponds. The drainage system treats surface water run-off and accidental spills.

Earthworks were carried out and fences were put up to reduce noise. Extensive landscaping was also done as part of the project.

Upgrade project contractors

Highway Management Contractors (HMC), a consortium led by Bilfinger Berger, was awarded a 30-year contract to construct and maintain the project. The consortium also comprised Halcrow Group, John Graham (Dromore), and Northstone.

Jacobs Engineering was appointed as the consulting engineer for the project. In January 2009, London-based Scott Wilson was appointed as the designer for a 7km section of the project. The consultancy was also responsible for checking a 9km offline section. The company executed the project in collaboration with Grontmij.

M80 Stepps to Haggs upgrade project

The project was the result of an initiative taken by the Scottish Government to improve the country’s transport network. The proposal to upgrade the A80 was conceived and approved in 2006.

“The new project helps reduce travel time by 40% and during peak times travel time decreases by 15 minutes.”

The new project helps reduce travel time by 40% and during peak times travel time decreases by 15 minutes. Since the A80 is a heavily used road network in Scotland, the new project was essential to improve the transportation system. The upgrade also offers operational benefits by reducing the risk of accidents.

Upgrade works for the project were divided into three parts, which included the Stepps to Mollinsburn, Mollinsburn to Auchenkilns, and Auchenkilns to Haggs sections. The 8km Stepps to Mollinsburn section included construction of a 7.3m-wide dual carriageway, a new interchange at Mollinsburn and new overbridges at various locations such as Hornshill Junction and Strathkelvin Railway Path.

Works on the 2.7km Mollinsburn to Auchenkilns section included a 11m wide dual three-lane carriageway from Mollinsburn Interchange to Low Wood. From Low Wood to Auchenkilns, the road is a 7.3m-wide dual two-lane carriageway. The existing A80 connects to the western side of Auchenkilns Junction. Dalshannon Junction was closed as part of the project and improvements were carried out to Low Wood Junction.

The 7.3km Auchenkilns to Haggs section involved construction of a 7.3m-wide dual two-lane carriageway. The section also included two 11m-wide climbing lanes between Castlecary and Haggs, and Castlecary and Old Inns. All three sections have 3.3m-wide hard shoulders, a 4m-wide central reservation and 1.5m-wide roadside verges.

M80 project bridge construction

The M80 project included the construction of three new overbridges, which included the Mollinsburn Link Overbridge, Mollinsburn Overbridge and M73/M80 Link Overbridge. The construction of the Luggie Water Underbridge was also part of the project, as were the reconstruction of the North Road Overbridge and the Glenview Avenue Overbridge.

“North Road Bridge was being reconstructed as it does not provide sufficient headroom for vehicles.”

The Mollinsburn Link Overbridge is part of the new Westfield Link road. Pier construction at the Mollinsburn Link Overbridge was also completed. The overbridge links Gartferry Road and Mollinsburn.

The Luggie Water Underbridge is part of the Westfield Link road and was constructed along the Luggie Water bodies.

HMC has completed placement of the precast concrete beams for the underbridge. Construction on the M73 / M80 Link Overbridge was completed, which carries traffic from the M73.

North Road Bridge was reconstructed as it did not provide sufficient headroom for vehicles. Demolition and reconstruction of the Glenview Avenue Overbridge was carried out in two phases.