Dolphins spotted on the River Clyde as new bridge from Renfrew to Yoker advances

28th Mar 2024

Construction of the first opening road bridge over the River Clyde has taken a fresh step forward as new dolphins have been installed into position on the river.

The dolphins are steel structures which are the latest part of the project to be completed and provide the additional safety infrastructure required for boats moving along the river past the new bridge.

The structures took five months to create and were cut, welded and assembled by steel fabricating company Had Fab. Using 100-tonne cranes the dolphins were lifted onto a transporter at Westway in Renfrew onto a barge and were sailed down the White Cart, onto the Clyde and into their final positions – with four dolphins installed to support vessels up to 160m in length.

Greg Scott, Managing Director at Had Fab, said: “Had Fab was delighted to be appointed to fabricate, trial erect, assemble and load out the dolphin fenders for the new road bridge over the River Clyde.

“This is a flagship infrastructure project for Renfrewshire that will regenerate the Clyde waterfront and Had Fab is hugely proud to be part of such an iconic construction that will deliver economic growth, create a vibrant waterfront and transform the Glasgow City Region.”

The blasting and painting of the dolphins was commissioned by Had Fab to local Renfrewshire company Clyde Corrosion Control, who are based at Westway, part of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland (AMIDS).

Managing Director Jamie Lowson said: “This was a great project to work on as it was located so close to home for us. A lot of our workers are local, and it will give them pride to see their work as part of such a substantial infrastructure project in Renfrew.

“I think the new bridge is a great investment as it improves the local transport infrastructure and provides a link between Renfrew and Clydebank that was not there before – giving people the option to walk, cycle or drive between the two towns and access health, social and work benefits on both sides of the river.”

The Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside project aims to regenerate the Clyde waterfront with a new bridge from Renfrew to Yoker, as well as additional connecting roads, cycling and walking routes.

It will create better connectivity for communities, attract new jobs and developments to the riverside, and enhance the access for businesses and suppliers to Scotland’s home of manufacturing innovation AMIDS.

The bridge is due to arrive in two separate sections in April and May 2024, and it will then be installed and commissioned on site before opening to the public later in the year.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “It’s fantastic to see the new bridge take another step forward as these dolphins are installed to support ships to dock when required – and it’s great to see a Renfrewshire business involved in this part of the project.

“The bridge is going to be transformative for Renfrew, Clydebank and the surrounding areas with enhanced connectivity for local people, visitors and businesses, including supporting a new route into the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland, and I’m looking forward to seeing the project advance ahead of its opening later in the year.”

The Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside project is funded through the Glasgow City Region City Deal, a partnership of eight councils working to deliver a programme of work to grow a strong, inclusive and sustainable City Region and an economy which delivers for all people and businesses.

UK Government Minister for Scotland John Lamont said: “The installation of the steel dolphins is a great moment for this flagship infrastructure project to regenerate the Clyde, improve connectivity and boost the economy.

“The UK Government is proud to be investing £39 million in the Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside scheme, part of our £523 million investment into the Glasgow City Region Deal, and more than £3 billion for levelling up across Scotland.”

Follow Us

Listen live