FIVE firms have been shortlisted for a prestigious new bridge project north of the border.
Balfour Beatty, Morrison, Sir Robert McAlpine, Morgan Est and Volker Stevin have all made the cut to price the £40 million Glasgow Bridge, which will span the river Clyde.
The Richard Rogers-designed structure will link the new international financial services district at Broomielaw on the north bank and Tradeston, an area of major regeneration, on the south bank in central Glasgow.
The architect has abandoned the traditional straight form, opting for a bridge with an elliptical shape. It is designed to give the illusion of floating above the river as it spans the 100 m width.The Rogers bridge saw off five bids including one from arch-rival Norman Foster.
The bridge, which is being financed by the city council, is currently called Neptune's Way but it is due to be renamed after a vote by local people with 'the Horseshoe' emerging as an early contender.The project also includes a floating wharf and a park on each bank.
It is expected the scheme will lead to a redevelopment of the entire area and will boost the city's economy.
Consultants Faithful & Gould and WS Atkins will be in charge of project management and provide support for engineering, hydrology and architecture.Work is due to begin next August and the bridge is scheduled to open in 2007.
nContractors which have prequalified for the £170 million New Tyne Crossing project will have to wait a few more weeks before finding out if they will be asked to bid it.
Balfour Beatty, Laing O'Rourke, Bouygues and a Mowlem/Nuttall joint venture are all hoping to receive tenders for the Private Finance Initiative scheme to build a second tunnel to run under the river Tyne, which will link Howdon with Jarrow.
But the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has demanded further details from client Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive about planned tolling on the tunnel.