The Building of Bridges
The new Forth Road Bridge, the Queensferry Crossing is nearing completion. You’ve heard the old adage “like painting the Forth Bridge”, referring to the great task of maintaining the iconic red Forth Rail Bridge. Now the anticipation for the new Forth Road Bridge is nearly over. At present the finishing touches are being made for its opening in summer 2017.
As the country holds its breath for the opening, the marine construction world stands back in wonder at the beauty of the bridge design.
The Queensferry Crossing, forms the centerpiece of a crucial upgrade to the transport across the Firth of Forth and a significant Scottish Government investment.
On completion, the 2.7km crossing will be the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world. In order to achieve the slender appearance of the towers and deck in an estuary prone to strong winds, engineers produced a design for extra strength and stability. As a consequence, it is now also the largest bridge to feature cables which cross mid-span.
Three bridges now adorn the Firth of Forth: the iconic red Forth Rail Bridge, the original Forth Road Bridge, soon to be reserved for public transport, cycling and pedestrians, and this tall silver newcomer, built by Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC) consortium.
For the project FCBC acquired a number of items of floating plant. Since 2011 tugboats could be seen towing barges with massive bridge sections; barges spotted, bearing large cranes and crew boats to-ing and fro-ing, ferrying construction workers safely across the Forth – all providing general support for the bridge construction. Without this fleet, the project would not have been possible.
Their job now complete, all vessels are now for sale and ready for their next project.
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