A NEW bridge is set to bring “big benefits” for people cycling and walking in Renfrewshire.

The 100-metre-long structure, which spans the Black Cart Water near Glasgow Airport, will provide a crossing for those making their way between Inchinnan, Renfrew and Paisley by bike or on foot.

It has now been installed after a delay of six months caused by a freak accident last November and will open to the public later this year.

The steel bridge, weighing in at a hefty 160 tonnes, toppled over during the initial attempt to put it in place, leading to extensive repairs.

It is one of a series of infrastructure improvements being made as part of the Glasgow Airport Investment Area project.

Enabling the development of Scotland’s manufacturing innovation district, the project is jointly funded by the UK and Scottish governments through the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

Cycling charity Sustrans Scotland helped to fund the construction of the bridge.

Pedestrians and cyclists will also benefit from an improved junction layout at Abbotsinch Road, which is being realigned and will have shared cycling and walking facilities.

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson told The Gazette: “We want everyone to enjoy the great outdoors – and Renfrewshire already has excellent routes for people cycling and walking.

“The new bridge and all the improvements being delivered through the Glasgow Airport Investment Area project will further enhance this and encourage more people to cycle and walk, which is of course much better for our wellbeing and for the local environment.”

Wills Bros Civil Engineering, the contractors behind the project, are now preparing the crossing for public use, including the creation of a permanent bridge deck, connecting to a new road layout at the junction of the A8 Greenock Road, Abbotsinch Road and Inchinnan Road.

Jonathan Wills, director of Wills Bros, said: “Improved routes promoting cycling and walking are an important part of the project and the new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the Black Cart is designed to create a safe, accessible route which we hope will prove popular over the coming years.”

No-one was injured when the bridge toppled over during the failed installation attempt in November, although a works van that was parked at the site was written off after being crushed.