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This junction was proposed in the Highway Plan as an at-grade crossing controlled by traffic lights. However, Halcrow & Partners recommended that the junction should be grade-separated for traffic flow benefits. The junction is a simple full access diamond design, with the expressway passing beneath in a deep cutting. Although simple in layout, the designers had two major challenges to overcome. Firstly, the site of the junction sat on top of one of the tunnels of the Glasgow Subway. Therefore, checks were necessary to ensure the tunnel could support the road's weight. In addition to this, the road had to be depressed to provide adequate headroom for the Hayburn Street overbridge. The result is that the Subway is just a few metres below road level. At this location the expressway road surface is only about half a meter above the flood level of the River Clyde. Flood prevention is provided by a surface water sewer that pumps constantly into the river.


The junction was considerably remodelled as part of the Glasgow Harbour project and now features a secondary bridge and a local road tie-in via the Ferry Road junction. Its capacity and safety has been greatly improved since this project was completed in 2008. The new layout features a pedestrian/cycle overbridge to the east of the junction, adjacent to the Pointhouse Bridge over the River Kelvin. The photo below was taken shortly after the expressway was completed.



Until 2008 this junction existed as a flat roundabout with access to Yorkhill Quay. Due to the proximity of the River Kelvin and projected traffic movements, this junction was not grade-separated when the expressway was constructed. A roundabout also ensured that long vehicles using the now closed Yorkhill Container Depot had ease of access. The roundabout was constructed in such a way that it could be easily upgraded or removed in the future as necessary. In its current form it has two east facing slip roads connecting to Castlebank Street, allowing local access to Glasgow Harbour and Partick.


Pointhouse Bridge, which carries the expressway over the River Kelvin, was constructed in advance of the main contract by H.M. Murray Ltd to a design by the Corporation Roads Department. The aerial photograph below, which was taken in April 1971, shows the bridge as well as wide single carriageway routes on the east side. These were upgraded to dual carriageway as part of the main expressway works.



This junction serves the area of Finnieston, the SECC, Glasgow Skypark and provides access to the Clyde Arc and the south side of the river. It is a diamond type interchange with traffic signals at the end of each of its exit slip roads. It forms part of a large gyratory system made up of Stobcross Road and Finnieston Street that surrounds the SSE Hydro car park. This very busy junction also sits above the Argyle Line’s Exhibition Centre railway station.


This junction was one of the first to be constructed for the expressway in 1971. The overpass structure bridging Finnieston Street consists of eight intermediate spans utilising 24.5m long beams – this was copied at Sawmill Road. This junction was an incredible technical challenge due to the requirement for the structure to pass over two abandoned railway lines. It was intended that Glasgow Central Station Low Level would be reopened as the Argyle Line, with a station serving Finnieston at this location.


The area was used as a railway engineering works from around 1890 with much of Finnieston and Stobcross Streets supported on a deck of wrought iron girders and brick jack arches above the now abandoned railway tunnels. Not only did the designers have to ensure that these railway tunnels were not disturbed by the construction works, but also that the new railway could pass underneath the junction at a later date.



Anderston Cross Junction sits at the eastern end of the Clydeside Expressway with connections to the M8 and Glasgow City Centre. This junction was completed in 1970 as part of the works associated with the Inner Ring Road Kingston Bridge contract.


The junction is on two levels. At surface level it is a large at-grade light controlled crossing that serves the M8 Eastbound, A804, North Street and Argyle Street. It is directly beneath the main elevated M8 carriageway and shares the site with Anderston low-level train station.


The higher level consists of west facing slip roads to the M8 westbound. It is not possible for M8 eastbound traffic to join the expressway from the Kingston Bridge. This junction is particularly busy at peak times and during major events at the SECC.


Sitting in a tangle of sliproads is the unusual but clever junction that is Whiteinch Interchange. This junction connects the A739 Clyde Tunnel North Approach Road with the A814 Clydeside Expressway, allowing for movements between the two routes. It also provides important local access. The interchange and its slip roads are unusual given they have only one lane in each direction - perhaps in indication that traffic flows were not expected to be as high as elsewhere. Another unusual feature is found where eastbound expressway traffic is forced onto a shared slip road with A739 northbound. The two have a tight merge that becomes the main carriageway. The junction features a number of tight loops, short slip roads and pedestrian underpasses, in fashion with many of Glasgow’s grade-separated junctions, particularly where space is at a premium.


The junction and North Approach Road were designed by Sir William Halcrow & Partners and constructed by Balfour Beatty. Construction commenced in March 1967 and opened to traffic in April 1969 – four years before the rest of the Clydeside Expressway was constructed and connected. The contract was completed 5 months ahead of schedule. This scheme was programmed before the expressway to provide a permanent connection to the recently completed Clyde Tunnel. When the first tunnel opened to traffic in May 1963, the junction included temporary approach roads, immediately splitting off from the northern tunnel portal connecting traffic to Dumbarton Road. The slip-road exists to this day and serves as the local access for A739 northbound traffic heading to Whiteinch and Dumbarton Road.


The design of this junction created a challenge for the authors of the Highway Plan, as it was a requirement that it should allow for free-flow connections between the expressway and Clyde Tunnel whilst not encroaching on the historic Victoria Park. The Corporation also requested that the demolition of terraced houses on the east side of Balshagray Drive be avoided. Rejected ideas included plans for a 3-level stacked roundabout that would result in less land take. The constructed layout was chosen as it can handle higher traffic volumes and has much less visual impact on the surrounding neighbourhood. This part of the scheme cost around £2.5million (almost £40 million today).



The junction at Sawmill Road is a roundabout interchange which is tightly squeezed into the dense urban surroundings. The design was chosen to allow full access to & from the expressway from the busy surface streets of Dumbarton Road, Sawmill Road and Broomhill Drive. The junction sits particularly close to the Whiteinch Interchange - they share a slip road for eastbound expressway traffic - and this can catch the uninitiated driver by surprise.  This junction serves the areas of Whiteinch, Partick, Broomhill and Glasgow Harbour. Access to South Street was essential for access to the now demolished granaries and ship yards.  


When the junction was constructed in 1971 (the westernmost section of the expressway contract) a new length of roadway was built west of the roundabout and south of the expressway to provide continuity of the route of Dumbarton Road. This was provided for local bus access, similar to that constructed at Finnieston Street interchange. This standardisation of the construction of junctions was adopted to achieve optimum economy of the materials available and for ease of design. The concrete beams used were cast on site. A graphic showing the basic make up of the bridge can be seen below. The photo below shows the bridge nearing completion.

The various structures built as part of the main expressway contract are of typical late 1960s - early 1970s design. The overpass bridges at Finnieston and Sawmill are precast, prestressed concrete beams which were fabricated on site. This form of economic construction was also used on the Inner Ring Road and Clyde Tunnel Approaches. It offered the advantage of reducing form work requirements and allowing any existing roads or railways below to remain open.


Finnieston Street is an eight span structure while Sawmill is only a six. All structures are supported on bored cast in-situ piles to rock with a concrete pile cap. These caps each support two columns which in turn support the beams. Underpasses were constructed as short cut and cover tunnels using precast concrete slabs. The bridges at Whiteinch are typical reinforced concrete slabs with lengths varying from 100m to 300m. A prestressed concrete bridge was built for services and pedestrian links south of Dumbarton Road.


As with many of the urban routes in Glasgow, curves with a radius of 150 feet were used to reduce land take. Gradients of no more than 5% were used whilst the lane widths are no less than 3.65m wide. At Whiteinch the road was designed to 30mph standards while the Expressway was 50mph.


In another typical 1960s feature, around 1,000 yards of electric road heating was installed for use during the winter months and to reduce gritting requirements. This is no longer in use. Hard landscaping was designed by Holfords (in their appointed role as architect for all Highway Plan schemes) while landscaping was carried out by the Corporation Parks Department.

On completion of the expressway, an opening booklet was issued by Glasgow Corporation. This contained information on project, including construction techniques, costs, the scheme designer and works contractor.


It provides a number of fascinating facts and figures, as well as images taken during, and after construction.


Click the link opposite to download and view a copy.

The A814 - Clydeside Expressway

The A814 Clydeside Expressway snakes along the edge of the north bank of the River Clyde. It is a non-trunk road and provides a bypass of Glasgow's West End. At its western end it connects with the Clyde Tunnel, while in the east it meets the M8 at Junction 19 to the north of the Kingston Bridge.


It is a crucial piece of Glasgow's road network. The Expressway was built to dual carriageway standard and features grade separated junctions along its entire length. The Expressway was proposed as part of the 1965 Highway Plan for Glasgow, although a similar route was first outlined in the 1949 Abercrombie Report.


Key Facts & Figures

LOCATION:   Glasgow (West End) Anderston to Whiteinch

OPENING DATE:   Clyde Tunnel North Approach:    9th April 1969

                               Clydeside Expressway:    27th April 1973

DESIGNER:   William Halcrow & Partners

CONTRACTOR:   Balfour Beatty

LENGTH:   2 miles

TOTAL SCHEME COST:   £3.5 Million (Expressway only) (£40 million in 2017)

MISC:     Glasgow Harbour Improvements completed in mid-2008. Designed by Atkins and constructed by Farrans Construction.


The Expressway serves the recently constructed Glasgow Harbour development, the areas of Partick, Whiteinch and Finnieston and the SECC. The route has encouraged development of many of the city’s new amenities and riverside regeneration schemes, such as the newly completed Riverside Museum and the SSE Hydro at Finnieston.

Last Updated: 07th April 2018

History & Background

In September 1967 Sir William Halcrow & Partners were engaged as consulting engineers for the scheme. The Highway Plan had proposed only one grade-separated junction over the entire length of the route which was the roundabout interchange at Sawmill Road/Dumbarton Road. The remainder of the route was envisioned as being "at-grade" with light controlled intersections at Hayburn Street, Ferry Road and Finnieston Street. The Consulting Engineers were of the opinion that light controlled junctions would impede the flow of the expressway traffic and proposed that the junctions at Hayburn and Finnieston Streets be "grade separated", with flyovers leaving Ferry Road with a flat roundabout. The roundabout on Ferry Road was designed in such a way that it could be easily modified in future, should that be necessary. This eventually happened in 2008 when it was grade-separated as part of the construction of the collector distributor roads to the Glasgow Harbour Development.      


In March 1971, after Sir William Halcrow & Partners recommendations for the route were accepted, a construction contract valued at £3.59M (over £40 million today) was awarded to Balfour Beatty & Co Ltd. Construction took around 24 months and the Clydeside Expressway was opened to traffic on the 27th April 1973.


In 2005 it was proposed that the Ferry Road roundabout be removed and the Hayburn Street Junction improved. The enhancement works included the lowering of the section of carriageway between the two junctions and proposed new local roads and pedestrian footbridges. This scheme was in line with the Clyde Waterfront regeneration proposals for Partick and Glasgow Harbour. The £24 million construction contract was awarded to Belfast based Farrans Construction who completed the works in early 2008.


Since completion expressway traffic has had an uninterrupted journey from the Clyde Tunnel to the M8 at J19 Anderston. The local road improvements included a re-alignment of Castlebank Street and a parallel bridge over the River Kelvin linking to east facing slip roads where the once notorious Ferry Road roundabout was located. The works also involved the lowering and re-landscaping of the carriageway between the River Kelvin and the Hayburn Street junction to accommodate the new road bridge and pedestrian overpass. These junctions now feature blue LED lighting on the underside of the fly-overs, in keeping with the modern feel of redeveloped area surrounding the expressway.


The Hayburn Street Interchange that was once a simple signal controlled diamond interchange. It now serves the Partick area as a two overbridge gyratory system with increased capacity. Improved safety for pedestrians and cyclists was key to proposals and are now kept separate from road traffic on a third bridge slightly to the east of the junction.

Clydeside header 2

The Junctions: Whiteinch & Sawmill

The Junctions: Hayburn Street to Anderston

Project Opening Booklet

Expressway Gallery

Construction Methods & Features


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Also In This Section

Other Routes Index

The Clyde Tunnel

Inner Ring Road - West Flank

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The Clyde Tunnel was completed in two phases in 1963 and '64. It links Whiteinch with Linthouse. Designed by Halcrow.

Index page for the non-motorway routes with links to contract pages, construction information and a route overview.

The West Flank of the IRR includes the Kingston Bridge, its approaches and the controversial Charing Cross section.

A Highway Plan for Glasgow

The comprehensive roads report for Glasgow Corporation which was published in 1965.