A new bridge over the M8 will soon be open to the public, reconnecting Sighthill to the city centre.
The development — to be known as Sighthill Bridge — is part of the £250m regeneration of the area, which includes over 800 homes.
Council leader Susan Aitken, SNP, said the “incredibly striking” bridge will connect the city “in a way that’s accessible for people walking, cycling and wheeling.”
She added: “We are standing over this multi-lane motorway which for generations has literally divided the north of the city from the rest.”
Funded through the Glasgow City Region City Deal, which has seen the Scottish and UK Governments provide £500m each for infrastructure projects, the bridge is a key feature of the regeneration of Sighthill.
Its main span is made of Cor-Ten Steel, which the council has said will result in lower maintenance costs, and it has been designed to reflect the area’s industrial heritage and the front of the local St Martin’s Primary School campus. Children from the school helped to name the bridge.
Councillor Aitken said: “I really like it, it might not be to everyone’s taste immediately but I think it will grow on people and be something that Glaswegians come to be really proud of.”
And the council leader wants to see more action to address the M8’s impact on Glasgow.
She said: “Myself and my colleague who leads on transport, Councillor Angus Millar, have discussed this directly with the Scottish Government, with ministers and with Transport Scotland and said we need a plan for the M8.
“It’s in their gift, not ours, but it is Glasgow and Glaswegians that are impacted. Lots of cities are taking this kind of action. The city of Seoul completely removed a city centre motorway and replaced it with a canal and a park.
“We might not be able to go quite that far in Glasgow, although I would personally be in favour of it. We do still need to have those connections and people being able to move around.
“But we need to be able to do it in a way that has much, much less direct impact on the health and the quality of life of Glaswegians, particularly those that live close to the motorway.”
Additional funding for the development was provided by walking, wheeling and cycling charity Sustrans.
Karen McGregor, Scotland director and Sustrans, said the bridge is a “significant achievement” which provides people in Sighthill with a “direct link into the city centre, giving them access to employment opportunities and all the amenities.”
She added: “What we’ve now got is a direct link, people can now make a conscious decision about leaving the car at home and they can walk, wheel or cycle straight into the city centre.”
Councillor Aitken said: “Glasgow has the lowest car ownership of any city in the UK but we are a city that is completely dominated by cars, we need to reverse that.
“It’s not good for people’s health or their quality of life to be in such a car dominated city. Projects like this that put people walking and cycling and wheeling first, that’s the future and we want to see a lot more of it.”
The bridge, which weighs 1,000 tonnes and is over 74 metres across, has a landscaped approach, which includes 800 trees, 10,000 plants and a ramp of 210 metres.
Scottish Government business minister Ivan McKee, SNP, said the bridge “makes it much easier for people to get back and forward for shopping, for work.”
He added: “Promoting active travel is a very important part of the development.”