forth crossing

Queensferry Crossing bridge opens over River Forth near Edinburgh

The Queensferry Crossing, the third bridge in as many centuries to link Edinburgh and the north of Scotland over the River Forth, was formally completed yesterday, concluding the biggest Scottish infrastructure project in a generation.

The new bridge opens to traffic on Wednesday. With three structures rising like sails over its span, it is the longest of its type in the world at 2.7km.

It reaches 210 metres above high tide, standing as tall as around 48 London buses stacked on top of each other. Barriers deflect the wind and shield vehicles from the huge gusts common on the Forth.

The state-of-the-art engineering feat needed 35,000 tonnes of steel for the superstructure and 150,000 tonnes of concrete. Construction took six years. Although the project over-ran by 10 weeks, its cost of £1.35bn is £235m below budget.

The Crossing was illuminated by a light show last night to mark its handover to the Scottish Government.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon took part in a procession of vintage, modern and electric vehicles across the bridge and thanked workers for their efforts before she switched on the lights on Monday night.

The bridge was plunged into darkness before the procession of around 20 vehicles made its way across.

It will open to regular traffic on Wednesday, joining the Forth road and rail bridges connecting Edinburgh and Fife.

Other guests at the handover ceremony included veteran workers who helped build the Forth Road Bridge (FRB), local schoolchildren and contractors to celebrate the “past, present and future” of engineering across the Firth of Forth.

Addressing workers, the First Minister said: “I can’t tell you how emotional it feels to be standing on this stunning Queensferry Crossing. It is here to do a job and keep our country connected, but it is much more than that.

“This bridge will be one of the greatest bridges in the world - no, scrub that, this bridge is the greatest bridge in the world.”

Sturgeon shook the hands of workers and took selfies with the light show shining on the bridge.

She added: “What you have done here is something very special. It is in every way an amazing achievement and I want to congratulate everyone involved.

“The weather in the middle of the Forth has made sure it was a challenge, but you have made history and this bridge will serve Scotland for 150 years and more.”

The Forth Bridge, a red-coloured rail bridge that has become a UNESCO World Heritage site, opened in 1890, the first major structure in Britain to be made from steel.

The second Forth Bridge, a road which will now be used primarily for public transport vehicles, opened in 1964.

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