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M74 completion gets green light

The £650 million M74 motorway extension through the country's biggest city was today given the final green light by the Scottish Government.

Transport minister Stewart Stevenson said he was satisfied that government procedures were "robust" in drawing up the deal to build the M74 extension, after a recent complaint that the procurement process did not follow Euro rules.

A review of the process was necessary because the European Commission was asked to investigate the five-mile scheme after four potential bidders tendered for the work as a single consortium, and ministers combined two contracts into one.

Interlink M74, a consortium of Balfour Beatty, Morgan Est, Morrison Construction and Sir Robert McAlpine, is the sole bidder.

A tender price bid of £445 million, which is a fixed price, has been agreed with the Interlink M74 consortium, it was announced today, along with about £12 million for possible treatment of mine workings along the way.

Work is now expected to get under way on the scheme in May and finish in 2011.