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M8 City Park project inches a step further from drawing board to reality

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February 8 2017

M8 City Park project inches a step further from drawing board to reality
Dramatic plans to heal a 40 year-old wound in Glasgow city centre by ‘capping’ over a section of the M8 motorway have drawn a step closer with procurement for a feasibility study set to get underway in late spring with more detailed engineering studies and site investigations penciled in for the spring.

A key focus for these efforts will be detailed traffic modelling to ensure any new public space is a safe and welcoming environment for pedestrians

An indicative visual produced speculatively by Keppie shows a stretch of the M8 motorway in front of the Mitchell Library transformed into a linear park but Urban Realm understands this idea has already been shelved after more detailed surveys showed there was insufficient headroom along this stretch.

Instead decking will be restricted to roadway a little further to the north, stretching across an oblong void from Bath Street through to Sauchiehall Street. This approach has been conceived in conversation with the team behind Klyde Warren Park, Dallas, which overcame similar challenges.

Council leader Frank McAveety, commented: ”This is a truly inspiring project, but also one that is complex as it is ambitious. We must get the groundwork right and take time to create something that benefits the city while delivering a new public space that attracts and connects people and places. Coupled with the other projects coming forward as part of the Sauchiehall and Garnethill regeneration project will ensure that we make this a prominent place in the city’s life.”

Following feasibility work the bridging concept is expected to go before Glasgow City Council’s executive committee for sign-off by mid-2018 with appointment of a design team not expected until well into 2018.

In the meantime, work on the Sauchiehall Avenue project is expected to kick-off this summer, transforming the famous thoroughfare into a cycle and pedestrian friendly boulevard.
A key consideration for any scheme will be improving connectivity with cultural attractions such as the Mitchell Library
A key consideration for any scheme will be improving connectivity with cultural attractions such as the Mitchell Library
Keppie's David Ross has devised an indicative concept illustrating how Charing Cross might be stitched back together
Keppie's David Ross has devised an indicative concept illustrating how Charing Cross might be stitched back together

The undercroft below the much-maligned Tay House may be decked over if the stars align
The undercroft below the much-maligned Tay House may be decked over if the stars align

14 Comments

Steppish
#1 Posted by Steppish on 8 Feb 2017 at 15:01 PM
So 18 months for feasibility/sign-off. Then the design team is appointed, and they take how long to complete their work? Then I guess that needs some final sign off. Then the work needs to be actually scheduled and, finally, carried out.

So, what... 5, 6, 8, 10 years to stick this smallest of sticking plasters over the motorway "scar"?
David
#2 Posted by David on 8 Feb 2017 at 15:27 PM
Great to see this project taking another step forward...it would be the most important urban regeneration project for a generation in Glasgow.

However reports in other publications today contradict this article with regards to the section about the Mitchell Library, the park would stetch from Anderston right up to St George's Cross, with additional headroom for the motorway being achieved by closing the M8 in one or both directions to dig further down.
Charlie_
#3 Posted by Charlie_ on 8 Feb 2017 at 16:46 PM
Covering one solitary block of the m8 will not be 'transformative' Frank, it'll be an utterly half assed waste of grass seed and everybody's time.
Mark
#4 Posted by Mark on 8 Feb 2017 at 17:07 PM
I understand the issue with digging the M8 deeper are the railway lines running underneath. The tunnel into Charing Cross and the station itself would need to be dropped, which is an infeasibly large task. The 'cap' will likely only be in one or two small sections, or at best built into a 'hump'.
Billy
#5 Posted by Billy on 8 Feb 2017 at 19:51 PM
Like the proposals for the gardens and Sauchiehall st but we are missing the elephant in the room. Can we PLEASE get rid of the old SRC offices. Eyesore is putting it mildly. What happened to the Manhattan on the Clyde proposals for this block? With the Clydesdale bank closing at Charing Cross this would be good oppurtunity to get rid of that monstrosity too. These are embarrasing blots on the landscape that need replaced with interesting buildings to frame the proposed park. But let's hope it's something more interesting than Scottish Power's bland effort. Hardly worthy of a head office. Looks cheap.
Billy
#6 Posted by Billy on 8 Feb 2017 at 21:10 PM
The removal of Portculis house would also greatly improve the area to show off Charing Cross mansions and the Mitchell library . The office straddling the motorway looks dated and out of place. . Ugly bland builds. Hardly inviting office environments to work in. Surprised companies would want to showcase their business in these in uninspiring buildings.
George
#7 Posted by George on 9 Feb 2017 at 10:19 AM
If it is not the section outside the Mitchell Library that is capped over then I don't see the point of doing this at all. However to get some public realm in front of the Mitchell and at last give it the honour it deserves would be an excellent transformation.
David Graham
#8 Posted by David Graham on 9 Feb 2017 at 10:54 AM
There have been concerns raised regarding the height in front of the Mitchell, however this can be resolved by stepping up the park at this point slightly above street level, around 1metre - predominantly in front of Charing Cross station. Otherwise there are no issues with headroom from St George's Cross mansions right down to the Hilton hotel.
Derek Wilson
#9 Posted by Derek Wilson on 9 Feb 2017 at 11:08 AM
If I was locating staff in Glasgow one question I would ask is, where can my staff eat lunch in fresh air? This would be a start to reclaiming our city for the people that are advertised as making it.
Sven
#10 Posted by Sven on 9 Feb 2017 at 11:21 AM
"more detailed surveys showed there was insufficient headroom along this stretch."

The obvious solution is to dome the cap to new garden area to keep the necessary height. This needs to happen. The Mitchell is a beautiful building badly let down with its urban realm. I really like the idea of a cafe in the middle - it reminds me of St Andrew Square which opened up a dead part of Edinburgh.
Chris
#11 Posted by Chris on 9 Feb 2017 at 11:54 AM
It is a wasted effort if the section in front of the Mitchell is left uncovered. Such a grand building deserves a proper public space.

Raise the height of the covering if need be.
Ted
#12 Posted by Ted on 9 Feb 2017 at 20:49 PM
This is boring.
An inspiring, complex, and ambitious project would be the removal of the M8 between Townhead and Tradeston.
European Canon
#13 Posted by European Canon on 10 Feb 2017 at 13:28 PM
Surely one of the most important urban improvements in decades, why half arse it? Is it so difficult to raise the level of the park to avoid having to lower the road/tunnels?
Pauly
#14 Posted by Pauly on 21 Feb 2017 at 13:03 PM
This would be such a step forward that I'm telling you now I won't happen. Glasgow authorities do not have what it takes to make such a bold move, or take such a big step forward.

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