The Queensferry Crossing (also known as The Forth Replacement Crossing) is one of the most striking engineering icons of the twenty-first century and is the UK’s tallest bridge and the world’s longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge. Linking Edinburgh with the county of Fife it sits alongside its illustrious neighbours, the Forth Bridge and Forth Road Bridge. When complete in May 2017, the Queensferry Crossing will provide welcomed resilience to the strategic road network on the east coast of Scotland and enable essential maintenance works to be carried out on the existing Forth Road Bridge, which will then become a route for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport.
Three centuries of engineering innovation
The Queensferry Crossing sits within a beautiful bridge-scape representing three centuries of engineering innovation. The Forth Bridge was built in 1890 and was the first steel bridge and longest cantilever bridge span in the world at the time. The Forth Road Bridge was built in 1964 and was the longest span suspension bridge outside of North America and the 4th largest in the world.. Construction on the Queensferry Crossing began in 2011 and will be complete in 2017 at which time it will stand alongside these historic structures as a fitting 21st Century addition.
More than a bridge
The stunning and globally unique Queensferry Crossing forms the centrepiece of a major upgrade to the important cross-Forth transport corridor in the east of Scotland. The bridge is a unique three-tower cable stayed structure with overlapping cables. It is approximately 2.7km long with two main spans each of 650m and two side spans of 223m. The dominant visual design feature of the Queensferry Crossing is the innovative cable arrangement. The overlapping stay cables in the three-tower structure represent a technical design innovation that provides the necessary stiffness to the structural system to enable the design of the deck to be lighter and the three towers to be more slender and needle-like. The balanced and harmonious geometric proportions of the approach spans and the visual continuity between them and the main spans add to the graceful appearance overall.
But the scheme entails more than the iconic bridge. It has a 22km footprint which includes major improvements to the surrounding road networks on the North and South of the Forth and will connect the M9 and M90 together for the first time. The works also include substantial road and bridgeworks to make and improve connections with the surrounding road network, also integrating smart motorway technology, the first implementation in Scotland.
The Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC), a consortium of Hochtief, Dragados, American Bridge Morrison Construction is building the bridge and connecting roads. Ramboll is proud to be leading the Design Joint Venture which includes Sweco and Leonhardt Andra und Partners on this exciting Transport Scotland project.
“Working on a project of this scale and importance is a real privilege. We have been working on the Queensferry Crossing since 2009 and it has been both a challenging and rewarding experience. We have worked hard in pushing the boundaries of innovation in order to develop a competitive tender design and have subsequently continued our endeavours during the construction process in close collaboration with the Contractors and Clients teams in order to optimise its delivery. It really is awe-inspiring to look out onto the Firth of Forth and see the contribution we have made to such an amazing bridge-scape.” Peter Curran, DJV and Ramboll Project Director for Queensferry Crossing.