The Queensferry Crossing new bridge has been under construction now for four years, and has cost more than £1.4 billion. Where does it stand?
They tell us it will all be finished within the year. The three massive concrete and steel towers that will hold it all up are in place, the decks that will support the two lane motorway are ready to be lifted into place, and some 23,000 miles of cabling stands ready to lace it together like the world’s largest pair of trainers.
Over 110 decking plates will be added before the bridge is complete, all held up by enough cable to encircle the earth three times. It takes three hours to lift each 55 metres up to the bridge from its transport boat, and that’s in good conditions.
In the end the bridge will use nearly as much concrete as the entire build for the London Olympics, and enough steel to build 200 jet liners – some 35,000 tonnes.
In the end over ten million hours of work will have gone into the project, not counting all the ongoing maintenance and inspection operations.
The Other Bridges
The Forth Road Bridge that stands now was constructed in the early 60s, and was closed not long ago due to safety concerns, but will remain usable by cyclists, pedestrians and certain bus routes even after the new bridge opens. Before the Forth Road Bridge there was only the Victorian railway bridge whose red iron still stands proudly.
The 1300 Jobs
So, the real question on the minds of many is: what will happen to the 1300 jobs that were created by the project some 5 years ago when it is all finished?
Luckily, the experts tell us there is little to fear. As the UK’s construction industry is currently having trouble finding the skilled construction workers it needs to meet demand, these civil engineers who have gained so much experience on this project should have little trouble finding a work, though it might not be on such an inspiring landmark. Also since most of them will already hold the CCNSG Safety Passport they will have the required health & safety training to undertake other similar large projects.