Our projects

Critical civil engineering project delivered 8 months early

A gap in the M74 was sending 20,000 cars into the city centre every day, causing congestion and pollution.

With Glasgow making preparations for the Commonwealth Games, this missing link in the city’s motorway infrastructure needed fixing urgently.

The stretch needed three lanes of carriageway with hard shoulder in each direction, 14 bridges and four junctions. Work ran alongside busy railway lines and roads near the city centre. So precise planning, good communication and rapid deployment were vital to reduce disruption.

The Port Eglinton Viaduct stretch was a significant challenge, needing expert engineering and coordination to slide bridge sections over the West Coast Main Line.

Disruption to road and rail users was minimised thanks to innovative construction methods and strong communications - with stakeholders, transport providers and commuters. Costs were also reduced through design and our approach to waste management.

Habitats were preserved and enhanced and we worked with local business, schools, authorities and regeneration bodies to make a lasting difference to the economy.


    • Client: Glasgow City Council, Transport Scotland & South Lanarkshire Council & Renfrewshire Council
    • Sector: Infrastructure
    • Value: £440m
    • Location: Scotland
    • Services: McAlpine Design Group, Construction Support, Pre-Construction, Civil Engineering
    • Completion date: 2014

The M74 Completion scheme has been delivered ahead of schedule and under budget whilst engineering sustainable solutions within the road corridor, creating more wildlife habitats and putting in place a wide variety of mitigation measures.

Keith Brown, Transport Minister for Scotland

Civil engineering company expertise

To avoid building support piers close to railway tracks, we redesigned the section of the Port Eglinton Viaduct passing over the West Coast Main Line.

Two 200m sections of steel bridge - complete with concrete decks - were then push launched 166m over the tracks and roads below.

Sliding the 4,200 tonne structures into place required expert planning, coordination and communication.

This safe, innovative and cost-effective solution meant less disturbance for road and rail users.

At the eastern end of the route, we came up with an alternative single-span design for the Auchenshuggle Bridge (pictured).

This avoided having to construct support piers in the River Clyde, reducing the environmental impact on the waterway. Instead, we used the largest mobile crane in Europe to place the bridge’s supporting steel beams of up to 86.5m.

M74 Auchenshuggle Beams
M74 Completion waste management

Waste management

Our team went beyond the brief; formulating a Site Waste Management Plan, which reduced costs while minimising effects on the environment and community.

‘Designing out waste’ by rationalising retaining walls saved 4,000 tonnes of concrete.


  • 86,000 tonnes of highly contaminated land were remediated on site to be used as fill.
  • 500,000 tonnes of rubble from demolished buildings were recycled into aggregate and used to build embankments.
  • 25,000 tonnes of clay from a nearby construction site was recycled and used on the project.

Nearly 43,000 tonnes of remediated material from resurfacing work was reused.



  • More than 70% of the 850 people working on the construction project at its peak were from the surrounding area.

  • We worked with our supply chain partners to provide training opportunities for local unemployed people and school leavers.

  • An on-site training centre was created taking on 20 young people, 12 of whom went on to start apprenticeships.

  • Our construction project management team members shared their skills, knowledge and experience with local learners - from primary schools to higher education.
m74 beams 09, go-ape, glens


  1. awards


    Gold award

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    British Safety Council

    International Safety Award

  3. awards


    Sustainable Construction and Demolition Project of the Year

  4. awards

    Green Apple Environment Award

    International Green Hero (Green Organisation)

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    Vision in Business for the Environment of Scotland

    Special commendation (2010)

  6. awards


    Excellence award

  7. awards

    Construction News Awards

    Project Over £50m Winner (2011)

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    Considerate Constructors Scheme

    Gold Award

  9. awards

    Saltire Award

    Civil engineering