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Cloberhill Canal Bridge

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Cloberhill Canal Bridge
Location Map ( geo)
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From:  Anniesland Cross
To:  Duntocher
Highway Authority
Opening Date
Additional Information
Bridge Type:  Lifting Bridge
Engineer:  William Arrol & Co
On road(s)

Work had started on Glasgow's Great Western Road in the early 1920s, to create a new 'Boulevard' out of the city towards Dumbarton and Loch Lomond. By 1927 most of the route had been built, and some of it at least had been numbered as the A876. However, there was a problem, in that there was a 1200 yard (approx 1km) gap where the Forth and Clyde canal passed through the planned route.

Negotiations had begun in October 1923 between Glasgow Corporation and the London, Midland and Scottish Railway, who were responsible for the Forth and Clyde Canal. A scheme had been agreed by both parties in April 1924. The preparation of details was proceeded with but it took from January 1925 to October 1925 for Glasgow Corporation and Dunbartonshire County Council to agree these. The City Engineer had prepared details, specification and forms of tender by Spring 1926 when there was a coal strike. The matter was deferred until the Autumn when, to the City Engineer's surprise, there was an objection from the Railway Company. The documentation then had to be revised and this was still ongoing in May 1927 when the road, apart from the bridge section, had opened.

Agreement by all parties was obtained in December 1927 but it took until May 1928 for work to start. The opening came on 16 September 1930 to complete the last link of the Anniesland to Bowling Boulevard which was named Great Western Road, and initially numbered as the A876 throughout. Needless to say there was a large assembly from Glasgow Corporation at the opening ceremony, with Lord Provost Kelly declaring the bridge open. It was built by Sir William Arrol & Co. and Sir John Hunter, on behalf of the company, touted for business by saying they could build a similar bridge at Finnieston. The cost to the Corporation was £85,000.

Cloberhill Opening Bridge was a massive structure, and the first of its kind in Scotland. The carriageway was 40 feet wide with two 15 foot pavements, which meant that it was narrower than the dual carriageway boulevard on either side. This appears to have been done by bringing the two carriageways together and losing or minimising the central reservation. The clearance from the canal was 10 feet without the bridge raised. Signals would stop the traffic when the bridge was to be raised. There were counterweights of 300 tons and two 20 b.h.p. motors. A very similar bridge was constructed for the A739 Bearsden Road at around the same time, and this remains S4 today.

With the completion of the bridge, it was only a matter of time before the A82 was re-routed along the new road, and this happened in May 1934. In a time before the Erskine Bridge or Clyde Tunnel, the A82 carried the majority of traffic heading to Argyll and the West Highlands, so volumes over the bridge would have been high. However, with canal traffic in decline, the need to lift the bridge would have become less and less frequent. Indeed, by the 1950s housing developments had started to be built over former canal sections in Glasgow, and the section immediately north of Cloberhill Bridge suffered a similar fate. With the canal now effectively closed, there was no need for the bridge to open, and so it was replaced between 1967 and 1970.

New Bridges

The original lifting bridge was replaced by two new concrete deck bridges, completed in 1969 (per the 1969 Scottish Development Department Report). The original stone abutment on the west bank survives, but has been extended with ramped concrete sections, and the whole east abutment is now a ramped concrete design sloping down to the tow path. The two bridges appear identical, and have a wide open space between them, comparable to the width of the central reservation on the rest of the road. Each bridge formerly carried 3 lanes of traffic and a wide pavement, although the inside lane of each carriageway has now been marked off as a wide cycle lane. Metal railings span between slightly stylised concrete pillars as parapets. The large scale OS map from 1970 suggests that the canal has been filled in and an embankment carries the road across the former channel, however, all other evidence suggests that the bridges are of that date.

Cloberhill Canal Bridge
Features of the A82 Corridor
Route HistoryA82Great Western Road • Loch Lomond • Glen Falloch • Srathfillan • Rannoch Moor • Glencoe • Ballachulish - Fort William • Fort William - Fort Augustus • Loch Ness
Associated Routes: A805 • A829 • A876 • A8005 • B810 • B848 • B863 • B8040
CrossingsErskine Bridge • Dumbarton Bridge • Balloch Bridge • Luss Bridge • White Bridge • Ba Bridge • Kingshouse Bridge • The Study • Achnambeithach Bridge • Ballachulish Bridge • Righ Bridge • Corran Ferry • Kiachnish Bridge • Nevis Bridge • Lochybridge • Caledonian Canal Swing Bridges • Invergarry Bridge • Bridge of Oich • Fort Augustus Bridge • Invermoriston Bridge
JunctionsCharing Cross • Anniesland Cross • Kilbowie Roundabout • Old Kilpatrick • Dunglas Roundabout • Dumbarton Fork • Barloan Toll • Lomondgate Roundabout • Renton Junction • Stoneymollan Roundabout • Arden • Tarbet • Crianlarich • Tyndrum • Bridge of Orchy • Glencoe Crossroads • Ballachulish Roundabout • North Ballachulish • Corran Ferry • West End Roundabout • An Aird • Nevis Bridge • Lochybridge • Spean Bridge • Commando Memorial • Invergarry Bridge • Fort Augustus • Invermoriston • Drumnadrochit • Tomnahurich Roundabout • Telford Street Roundabout • Harbour Road Roundabout • Longman Roundabout
DestinationsGlasgow • Clydebank • Erskine Bridge • Dumbarton • Tarbet • Crianlarich • Tyndrum • Fort William • Lochybridge • Spean Bridge • Inverness

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