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Collapse of M8 bridge feared

05.11.07

One of Scotland's busiest motorway bridges has a potentially catastrophic fault that has already resulted in a ban on the heaviest vehicles, official documents obtained by the Scotland on Sunday newspaper reveal. Tests on the M8 White Cart Viaduct, just south of Glasgow Airport, show one section of the half-mile-long structure is 'significantly overstressed' and lorries weighing more than 80 tonnes have been stopped from using it.

The 40-year-old viaduct is one of Scotland's most important roads, carrying 80,000 vehicles a day. Most vehicles entering or leaving the airport use it. However, the newspaper reports engineers have identified a 'nightmare scenario' where, if a large number of HGVs were forced to a standstill on the section, it could fail.

Experts are urgently investigating an 'apparent crack' in the metal joints linking the section, and new 40 mph speed restrictions will be placed on that section of the motorway to reduce wear from tomorrow. As reported yesterday this will see the introduction of narrow lanes and speed limits to allow inspections to take place, with repair works scheduled to take 18 months.

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