GLASGOW’S Kingston Bridge celebrates its 50th anniversary this month. Although an exhibition to mark the event has been postponed by the coronavirus pandemic, the bridge is expected to be honoured in another way, with a grade B listing by Historic Environment Scotland.

The bridge, one of the first stages of the M8, is the centrepiece of Britain’s biggest urban motorway network.

It was opened on June 26, 1970, by the Queen Mother. It took three years to build at a cost of £11 million – the equivalent of £180m today – and carries 155,000 vehicles a day. It is estimated to have clocked up more than 2 billion to date.

Its span was built nearly 20m (65ft) above the river to enable ships to pass underneath.

Transport secretary Michael Matheson said last week: “The bridge has become an iconic landmark in Glasgow over the half century it’s been in operation. The crossing played its part in taking a significant amount of traffic off the city centre streets and paved the way for the pedestrianisation of Sauchiehall Street, Buchanan Street and Argyle Street.

‘‘Kingston Bridge listed seems a fitting way to mark its impact over the past 50 years.”

It was built by consulting engineers WA Fairhurst and Partners, one of the top civil engineering firms of the era.

The Glasgow Motorway Archive, whose exhibition about the bridge has been postponed by the Covid crisis, appealed to those who worked on the project to get in touch.

Chair Stuart Baird said: “The bridge was recognised as one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects undertaken in Scotland at the time, and it’s had a huge impact in shaping the city. Listing the bridge doesn’t simply acknowledge its unique engineering and architectural features, it also recognises the work of the people that designed, built and maintained it over the years.’’

Elizabeth McCrone, head of designations at Historic Environment Scotland, said: “We are delighted to consider the bridge for listing on its milestone 50th anniversary.

“Scotland has a strong heritage of engineering achievements and the Kingston Bridge was designed by WA Fairhurst and Partners, one of the leading civil engineering firms of the period.

To mark the event, this week’s Back In The Day publishes a selection of photographs of the bridge provided last week by the Glasgow Motorway Archive.