Clyde Arc

(Finnieston Bridge, Squinty Bridge)

Clyde Arc
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Clyde Arc

A bridge in W Central Glasgow, the Clyde Arc connects Finnieston Street on the north bank of the Clyde with Govan Road on the south bank. Known as the Finnieston Bridge during planning and construction, and referred to as the Squinty Bridge by Glaswegians because of the angle at which it crosses the river, the bridge is intended to represent an iconic gateway into the Pacific Quay redevelopment on the south bank of the Clyde. When it opened in September 2006, it became the first road bridge built across the river in Glasgow since 1969.

Built at a cost of £20.3 million, the competition-winning design by engineers Halcrow and landscape design consultants Gillespies features a dramatic steel asymmetric bow-string arch which towers above the river. Construction was undertaken by Edmund Nuttall Ltd. and funding came from Scottish Enterprise Glasgow and Glasgow City Council. Planning permission was granted in 2003 and construction began in May 2005, with the bridge completed less than a year later.

The Clyde Arc has a length of 169m (554 feet), comprising a main span of 96m (315 feet) with two approach spans each of 36.5m (119 feet). It carries four lanes of traffic, two of which are dedicated to public transport, together with pedestrian and cycle paths. However, the bridge is only 5.4m (17.5 feet) above the water giving rise to concerns that it effectively blocks a working river, preventing boats from moving upstream. Further controversy came from its proximity to housing and resident's worries over noise and air pollution. The bridge hit the headlines once again in 2008 when it was closed for several months after one of its support cables snapped.

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