The new crossing forms the centrepiece of a major upgrade to the cross-Forth transport corridor in the east of Scotland.
Built by Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC), which Morrison Construction is part of, FCBC Project Director, Michael Martin, said on completion that the new crossing was “one of the world’s great bridges”.
The 1.7 miles (2.7km) structure is the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world and also by far the largest to feature cables which cross mid-span. This innovative design provides extra strength and stiffness, allowing the towers and the deck to be more slender and elegant.
The bridge replaces the Forth Road Bridge as the main route between Edinburgh and Fife, carrying 24 million vehicles a year. The existing road bridge, built in 1964, will be adapted to be used by public transport, cycles and pedestrians.
In total, the overall Forth Replacement Crossing scheme is 13.7 miles (22km) long, including major motorway upgrades to the north and south of the bridge and also the first ever use in Scotland of variable mandatory speed limits to smooth traffic congestion via an Intelligent Transport System. This also controls dedicated bus lanes within the motorway hard shoulders – another first in Scotland.
Queensferry Crossing Facts
World class & world record breaking
- The structure spans 1. 7 miles (2.7km) making it the longest three-tower, cable- stayed bridge in the world.
- The biggest infrastructure project in Scotland for a generation.
- New world record in 2013 when we achieved the largest continuous underwater concrete pour. The 24-hour non-stop operation successfully poured 16,869 cubic metres of concrete into the water-filled south tower caisson.
- Prior to the completion of the final closure sections on the deck, the balanced cantilevers which extend 322m north and south from the central tower, i.e. 644m tip to tip, were recorded by Guinness as the longest ever.
- Highest bridge towers in the UK. (210m)
- Longest free-standing balanced cantilever in the world. (Centre Tower deck fan was 644m wide prior to being connected to rest of structure)
Queensferry Crossing in numbers
- 15…days of pouring concrete 24/7 to achieve the Queensferry Crossing’s first world record for the longest continuous underwater pour. The concrete was poured to the foundations of the South Tower.
- 23…Kelpies could be built using the same amount of steel required in the build of the north and south viaducts (the start and end of the Crossing). 7,000 tonnes of steel were used just for these sections.
- 25…percent higher than the Forth Road Bridge. The Queensferry Crossing will be 207 metres above high tide (683ft), which is 50 metres higher than the Road Bridge.
- 48…London Buses that you would need to stack on top of each other to reach the same height as the towers of the Queensferry Crossing.
- 65…options were considered before the cable-stayed bridge design of the Queensferry Crossing was selected as the best to proceed with.
- 122…deck sections which make up the bridge deck. Each one of these sections can weigh up to 750 tonnes.
- 200…Boeing 747 planes are the equivalent weight of the amount of steel required for the bridge deck.
- 23,000…miles of cabling used. Laying out all the wire used to support the bridge deck would very nearly stretch around the entire planet Earth.
- 35,000 …tonnes of steel used in the bridge superstructure AND people who voted in the Name the Bridge process.
- 150,000…tonnes of concrete poured over the course of the project. This is nearly the same amount used for the entire London Olympic Park and Athletes Village.
- 10,000,000…man hours approximately that were involved in the construction.
- The overall scheme is 13.7 miles (22km) long, which includes major motorway upgrades to the north and south of the bridge.
- The first ever use of variable mandatory speed limits in Scotland to smooth traffic congestion via an Intelligent Transport System. This also controls dedicated bus lanes within the motorway hard shoulders – another first in Scotland.
- Combination of overhead gantry mounted infrastructure at 50 regularly spaced locations across the corridor and verge mounted infrastructure providing benefit in emission reduction, improved journey times (between 5 and 10 minute reductions already evidenced on Fife ITS and M9 J1a schemes) and journey time reliability, as well as improved safety through reduction in number of accidents.
The people who built the bridge
- Principal contractor Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC) – comprising Hochtief (Germany), American Bridge (US), Dragados (Spain) and Morrison (Scotland) and its sub-contractors will clock more than 10 million man hours in completing the project.
- More than 1.9 million man hours spent by the Scottish Government’s engineering consultants Jacobs Arup. Involving over 1,700 staff globally – including Jacobs and Arup experts from North America, Asia, Europe and Australia.
- The contractor’s designer, whose role was to develop and detail the design of the crossing and its approaches, comprised an international Design Joint Venture team (DJV) of experts from Ramboll (Denmark and UK), SWECO (UK) and Leonhardt Andra und Partner (Germany).
- Although the central tower of the bridge is constructed on top of Beamer Rock in the centre of the Firth of Forth, the two flanking towers are each actually founded below river bed level on a giant steel cylinder, the largest being the height of the Statue of Liberty. The structure rises 210 metres above high tide (683ft), equivalent to approximately 48 London buses stacked on top of each other.
- Over 23,000 miles of cabling will have been used on the bridge, which is almost the same distance as the circumference of the earth at the equator (24,874 miles).
- At the height of production, the concrete batching plant on Rosyth docks wasproducing 120 cubic metres of concrete every hour.
- Concrete barges pouring the South Tower underwater foundation made 273separate journeys continuously to and from Rosyth, covering almost 2,000kilometres – roughly the same distance as John O’Groats to Land’s End.
- Over 2,500 concrete pours executed across the project since June 2012, latterlypumping to heights of above 200m for the three towers.
- 21 of the pours in excess of 1,000m3
- 3 CEEQUAL Excellent Awards.
Reproduced courtesy of Transport Scotland