07.09.2017, 13:33 Uhr

Opening Queensferry Crossing

The new cable-stayed bridge over the Firth of Forth, North of Edinburgh and close to the city was ceremoniously opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 4th September, 2017.

Now, with the completion of the Queensferry Crossing, there is a worldwide unique bridge ensemble, consisting of three bridges of different centuries and with different structural systems crossing the Forth: The historic railway bridge with its distinguish red framework built in 1890 was declared as UNESCO world heritage in 2015, the Forth Road suspension bridge built in 1964, which is listed as historic monuments since 2001, and the new Queensferry Crossing, a cable-stayed bridge with three towers.

The total length of the new bridge, inclusive approaches is 2,640 m. The cable-stayed bridge with tree towers in a distance of 650 m each, cross the two existing navigation channels. The central tower was founded on the Beamer Rock in the middle of the Firth of Forth. The main challenge here was to ensure stability of the central tower, as there are two navigation channels which entails two wide openings. In order to not construct a too dominant bridge in comparison with the existing bridges, it was decided to stabilize the central tower by the overlapping crossing cable stays in the mid span area. This led to a relatively slender superstructure and towers. The 40 m wide composite superstructure transforms into two separate cross-sections at the approach spans.

For the construction, the Design-and Build contract was chosen. In April 2011 the contract awarding was placed to the Joint Venture Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors consisting of the construction companies, Hochtief Solutions, Dragados, American Bridge International and Morrison Construction. The Design Joint Venture consisted of following companies: Leonhardt, Andrä and Partners, Ramboll DK and Sweco.

LAP’s main responsibility was the detailed design of the cable stayed bridge and site supervision of the deck and stay cable installation. The design of the foundations and the superstructure was done by Joint Venture partners.

In 2013 the 40 m deep tower-foundations with a diameter of 30 m were finalized. In order to do so, the world record of 15-day long continuous underwater concreting of 16,900 m3 was set. The three 200 m high towers were constructed by using the adaption of jumping formwork with a construction period of almost 2 years. The construction of the free cantilevered deck and the cable erection began in summer of 2015. The steel was produced near Shanghai and then shipped to the near port of Rosyth. After the concreting of the composite deck, the superstructure segments, with a weight of up to 750 t and a length of 16,2 and width of 40 m were installed by using a derrick. After concreting the composite top slab and in the same time as the welding of the steel cross section, the cables were erected before the next segment was lifted. If all wires of the strands of the bridge were put in a line, it would be equivalent to the distance one time around the world.

Transport Scotland, Glasgow, Scotland

Employer Delivery Team
Jacobs Arup Joint Venture, Edinburgh, Scotland

Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors
Hochtief Solutions AG, Essen, Deutschland
American Bridge International, Coraopolis, USA
Dragados S. A., London, England
Morrison Construction, Edinburgh, Scotland

Design / Structural engineering
Forth Crossing Design Joint Venture
Leonhardt, Andrä und Partner, Beratende Ingenieure VBI AG, Stuttgart, Deutschland
Rambøll Group A/S, Kopenhagen, Dänemark
Rambøll UK Limited, Southampton, England
Sweco UK, Leeds, England

Independent Checker
URS, Aecom, London, England

Transport Scotland