30th August 2017

The Queensferry Crossing opens

The Queensferry Crossing took its first traffic just three days after work on its construction came to an end. However, it wasn’t inaugurated until opened by Queen Elizabeth II the following month, exactly 53 years – to the day – since she had opened the Forth Road Bridge.

Formerly known as the Forth Replacement Crossing, the 1.7-mile (2.7km) cable-supported bridge straddles the Firth of Forth between Edinburgh and Fife. It supplements, rather than replaces, the Forth Road Bridge and Forth Rail Bridge.

Forth Road Bridge corroding

Plans for the bridge were made after it was discovered that the existing Forth Road Bridge was carrying more traffic than it had been designed for, and was getting weaker, through corrosion.

Prior to the Queensferry Crossing’s opening, the BBC reported on 27 August that “The current Forth Road Bridge has been beset by problems since corrosion was found in its steel cables more than a decade ago… Two years ago, the Forth Road Bridge was forced to close completely for three weeks while engineers repaired a serious defect in the metalwork, again underlining the need for the new bridge.”

Queensferry Crossing construction

Construction began in 2011, with sections being built in Darlington, China and Spain before being brought to site. It also required the building of three towers for the 23,000 miles of supporting cables. As a result, it became the longest three-tower cable-stayed bridge in the world, and the largest in which cables cross mid-span.

Although the project was due for completion by the end of 2016, this was extended due to bad weather. The total cost of construction was £1.35bn. A month after its opening, it closed again, so 60,000 members of the public could walk across it on 2, 3 and 5 September. It opened again to traffic – full time – on 7 September.



Other events that occured in August

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