The Clyde Arc


This is the latest bridge over the river Clyde in Glasgow. It is a significant break with the past.

[Picture of Bells bridge] [Picture of The Millennium Bridge] [Picture of The Kingston bridge]

The Bells Bridge was built with a moving middle section that rotated around a central pillar in the middle of the river. The next bridge along is the Millennium Bridge, which has a two hinged sections that swing down from the vertical to meet in the middle of the river. These devices allow ships and boats to pass. Until recently the next bridge across the Clyde was the Kingston Bridge — which was built very high up to allow ships and boats to pass beneath.

[picture of the clyde arc]That all ends with the Clyde Arc — this is a low built bridge that does not have a mechanical moving section. Not only does it stop river traffic, but the bridge crosses diagonally!

The word is that this bridge was built simply to persuade BBC Scotland and STV to relocate to the southside of the river. It is certainly very difficult to find a route that gets you onto the bridge. It just seems like such a lot of money for very little traffic.

Everyone knows the problems of the Kingston Bridge, so there was a chance that lessons could be learned for the Clyde Arc — but looking at this bridge now, it just seems a silly idea executed in a silly way in a silly place. No wonder it opened to protests.

[picture of the Newcastle Millennium Bridge]


It is not taking traffic from the Kingston — so that problem remains unsolved. It is not unique — the design is similar to quite a few recently built bridges, and this spoils the area — the “Armadillo” and Science Tower juxtaposed with the Crane.

[picture of bridge in York]


The squinty bridge is also very obviously very badly constructed — they seem to have got all the welded lugs in the wrong positions. these have clearly been cut off and relocated, and the original positions welded up. Oh, it really is far too shoddy for words! Perhaps THAT is why it is called the squinty bridge! Click images to enlarge and see the patching for yourself.

[picture of missed weld on clyde arc] [Picture of missed weld on clyde arc] [picture of lug weld relocation on squinty bridge]

4 Responses to “The Clyde Arc”

  1. Breaking News Says:

    On 31 Oct 2007, The £20m Squinty Bridge received a Civil Engineering Award from The Saltire Society who said that the bridge was a state-of-the-art structure and an elegant addition to the skyline in Glasgow (

    On 15 Jan 2008, just 4 months later, the bridge was closed because a structural cable snapped without warning. The night manager at the nearby City Inn hotel, said “We felt the vibrations of it right here. We looked out and someone said one of the supports had gone on the bridge and the whole thing was shaking.”

    “To be honest it was a scary sound, it sounded like a bomb going off.” (

  2. Rob Says:

    Another slap in the face for Scottish engineering, following the disaster with the non-rotating tower at the Science Museum. If it wasnt for the Falkirk wheel, I would despair, I really would. Where is this once-proud nation, whose ships once were the pride of …. blah blah blah ….(thats enough nostalgia, Ed)

  3. Getting Worse-- "Rain Drain" Says:

    […] Cross Ref […]

  4. kevin Says:

    closed for manitenance

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