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Glasgow bridge budget tumbles again

Glasgow City Council has slashed funds for its troubled River Clyde footbridge scheme three months after dropping Richard Rogers' budget-busting design.

Funding for a replacement scheme, spanning from Broomielaw on the Clyde's north bank to Tradeston on the south, has dramatically shrivelled from an original estimate of £34.5 million in 2004 to just £6 million.

Earlier this year Glasgow Council leader Stephen Purcell confirmed plans to build a simpler, cheaper bridge 'still of the same high quality'.

The budget cut is exposed in an OJEU contract notice - published in last week - inviting contractor-led design-and-build teams to tender for a new 100m-long bridge.

The council plans to restrict formal tendering to four operators and has limited design and construction to 21 months from award of contract.

In March the council unceremoniously jettisoned Roger's landmark scheme - which won planning permission in November 2004 (AJ 25.11.04) - after costs doubled to around £65 million.

Purcell blamed the cost hikes on sharp increases in steel prices and inflation within Glasgow's burgeoning building trade.

by Clive Walker

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