This week saw the opening of the most ambitious infrastructure project in Scotland in modern time – the impressive Queensferry Crossing. The spectacular construction is designed by DISSING+WEITLING as sub-consultants to a joint venture of Arup and Jacobs. Scotland’s new landmark was inaugurated by her majesty Queen Elizabeth II and has claimed much media attention both locally and abroad.
Monday saw the opening ceremony of the new Queensferry Crossing in Scotland. Her majesty Queen Elizabeth II cut the ribbon – just as she did more than 50 years ago when opening the neighbouring Forth Road Bridge. The Queen stated that the new bridge was a “breath-taking sight” and one of three “magnificent structures” across the Firth of Forth and she praised the designers, engineers and constructors for their visions and remarkable skills in modern engineering.
A record-breaking new landmark for modern Scotland
Queensferry Crossing, running across the Firth of Forth near Edinburgh, has been underway for ten years. The prestigious bridge is Great Britain’s tallest and with its vital importance to the passage across the Forth. With a total construction of £1.35 billion it is the most ambitious infrastructure project in Scotland ever. Besides being Great Britain’s tallest, the 2.7-kilometre long bridge is also the world’s longest cable-stayed bridge with three pylons. Each pylon stands 210 metres tall and more than 37,000 kilometres of cable was used for the cable-stays – equivalent to the circumference of the earth.
The new bridge is situated alongside two other bridges, one from the late 1800s and the other from the mid-1900s. Both are regarded as tremendous engineering accomplishments of their respective time. The two bridges, one a red steel railway bridge and the other a suspension road bridge, are listed as protected historical landmarks. This made the design of the new bridge an even bigger challenge for the design team – to create a contemporary bridge that could be a feat of contemporary engineering as well as uniting all three constructions into a harmonious whole and become a new landmark for modern Scotland.
An infrastructural hub near Edinburgh
Each day more than 60,000 vehicles cross the Forth, which until now has created massive congestions on either side. Built for different eras, the two existing bridges have not been capable of coping with the increase in traffic. Hence, the new bridge is a long-sought-for addition to the vital connection between the capital, Edinburgh, the region Fife and the east coast of Scotland.
Through the years, DISSING+WEITLING has designed many spectacular landmark bridges around the world – amongst others the iconic suspension bridge of the Great Belt Link and Stonecutters Bridge that stands as a monument over Hong Kong’s harbor. Having many design similarities with the latter, the new Queensferry Crossing hereby joins the league of the world’s most impressive bridges.