The Queensferry Crossing

For 53 years now the iconic Forth Road Bridge has carried vehicles across the Firth of Forth between Fife and Scotland’s Capital City, Edinburgh. However, surveys conducted in the early 21st century showed that the bridge’s strength was deteriorating due mainly to previously unthinkable volumes of traffic. In December 2007 it was then announced that a replacement crossing would be built.

The Queensferry Crossing opened to traffic on Wednesday 30th August 2017 and was officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Monday 4th September. Since construction on the bridge started and up until the “Queensferry Crossing Experience” event of Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd September – when 50,000 lucky people were allowed to walk over the new crossing, I have been down by the construction site watching the progress of this amazing project.

Standing some 207 metres tall, the Queensferry Crossing is now the tallest bridge in the United Kingdom, and the world’s longest 3-tower cable stayed bridge.

The following photos take you back from the early days of construction, right through to the Opening Weekend celebrations, and I hope you enjoy them.

Before the photos are some statistics from this project :

  • At 207m (683 feet) the towers are equivalent to some 48 London Buses stacked on top of each other.
  • The towers are also approximately 50 metres – 25% – taller than the towers on the existing Forth Road Bridge
  • Some 150,000 tonnes of concrete were poured during its construction which is almost the same amount used for the entire London Olympic Park and Athletes Village
  • 35,000 tonnes of steel were required to complete the bridge deck.
  • A further 7,000 tonnes of steel were required to complete both the North and South viaducts
  • In total around 23,000 miles of cables were used. Laid end to end these would nearly stretch around the entire planet.

These early scenes date back to May 2012, right at the start of the construction process.

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Moving on to around June 2013 the construction is well under way, as can be seen from this view looking towards the location of the new Southern approach road.

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Before too much longer, the towers start to appear from the icy waters of the Forth

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This was the view from the South Construction site  by August 2015Bridge06

A close up of the complex work taking place on and around the South Tower. Much more than just throwing a Tower up and sticking some road onto it ! 😉Bridge07

A typically grey scene looking over from North Queensferry, but showing the Towers getting close to their maximum height.Bridge08

Taken in early 2016 this one shows the road decks starting to spawn out from the Towers. Lifting these decks into place was a tremendously difficult job, often undertaken in ‘challenging’ conditions.Bridge09

I don’t envy these workers for their jobs. Attaching the cables to the towers. Definitely a good head for heights required here !Bridge10

We’re into April 2016 in here and the expansion of the road decks continues.Bridge11

Fast forward to August 2016 and you can see how much progress was made in the summer of that year. The layout of the bridge really taking shape here.Bridge12

Lifting one of the final pieces of the road deckBridge13

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And by August 2017 the new Queensferry Crossing was complete. These are a handful of photos which were taken from a “Maid of the Forth” boat tour in the Firth of Forth on Saturday August 26th.Bridge15

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As part of the Opening Celebrations of the crossing, some 250,000 people applied to take part in the “Queensferry Crossing Experience” 50,000 people were selected and I’m delighted to say that I was one of them. On Saturday 2nd September my son and I crossed the bridge at approximately 10:45 am armed with our cameras. Here are some of our favourite photos from the day.

First off, this was the scene at the Bus Drop off point at the North of the Bridge. Compliments have to be given out to the organizers of this event. Everything on the day ran incredibly smoothly and the volunteers couldn’t have been more helpful.DSC00202

A very busy scene as we approach the North Tower.DSC00208

A view of the North Tower’s cables.DSC00209

And here’s what the top of the towers look like 😉DSC00213

Across the bridge there were these handy information boards with some incredible statistics on them.DSC00215DSC00222DSC00239

The camera really doesn’t do the height of these towers any justice. They are massive !DSC00240DSC00241

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Approaching the end of our Experience and heading towards the buses waiting to take us back to Fife.DSC00247

A look back at the bridge from the end of the Experience. A truly magical event.DSC00255

I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at these pictures, even a fraction of how much I have enjoyed taking them over the years. It’s been genuinely  brilliant watching this magnificent structure taking shape. It has a lifespan of some 120 years and I suspect that even in 120 years time people will look at it with the same kind of awe we do today.

I’m just happy to be able to say “I was there”

Thanks for reading 🙂

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