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10Sep92 UK: SPRING START FOR M8 EXTENSION IN SCOTLAND.

Work is due to start next spring on a £50 million-plus extension of the M8 in Scotland.And next month consulting engineer Frank Graham will reveal its options for rebuilding the existing M8, which has reached the end of its design life and is breaking up.In the wake of a public inquiry held earlier this year, Ian Lang, the Secretary of State for Scotland, has now given the all-clear to the eastern extension of the M8 - a 7.3 km stretch between Newbridge and the Edinburgh city bypass. The Scottish Office project includes dual two-lane motorway, grade separated junctions, bridges and side roads, and carries a construction timetable of two to three years.According to Scottish Office sources, the existing M8 is likely to be rebuilt 'right down to the bedrock', with work starting within 'three to five years', giving contractors 'five to 10 years' work'.Frank Graham's commission covers the 40 km stretch of the 1960s-built dual two-lane motorway between Newbridge in Lothian and Newhouse in Strathclyde, which includes more than 50 bridges.- Strathclyde Regional Council will invite tenders in December for the £145 million first half of Stage I of the Ayr Road Route.The 3.6km section runs from the end of the M77 to south of the Barrhead Road.This will be followed by invitations to bid during autumn 1993 for the £9 million stage 1B contract on the route - a 3.3 km stretch from the south end of the Barrhead Road to the Glasgow city boundary.Strathclyde engineers are also working on the £15 million Scottish office section of the route in Stage II of the scheme. This 4.1 km stretch runs from the A77 south of Glasgow to Malletsheugh.Completion of the entire route will take place between 1995/96 at a total estimated cost of £70 million and will be dual two-lane highway throughout.