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Final deck section lifted on Queensferry Crossing

6 Feb 17 Construction of the £1.3bn Queensferry Crossing across the Firth of Forth has reached a landmark with completion of the main bridge deck.

Bridging the gap
Bridging the gap

The final lifting operation on the cable stayed bridge took place on Friday 3rd February 2017 by the construction joint venture Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC).

The new bridge has 122 deck sections in total. Initially 12 were lifted into place by a floating crane in October 2014. Lifting of the remaining 110 segments began in September 2015.

Each section weighs approximately 750 tonnes. They are around 40 metres wide and typically 16 metres in length although the final closure unit is 12.1 metres long.

In total, 77,200 tonnes of steel and concrete has been added to complete the deck of the new bridge. Overall, 1,868 metres have been lifted across this part of the bridge which is 2,633 metres in length in total when the approach viaducts on the north and south are included.

FCBC project director Michael Martin said: “This final deck lift is the culmination of a world class team effort stretching all the way back to the very first day of construction in 2011.

 “The final ‘closure’ is always one of the most significant milestones in any bridge construction programme. On a bridge of this magnificent scale, well, it’s more than a bit special. It is a real pleasure to pay tribute to the skill and dedication of everybody involved and to congratulate them on an outstanding achievement.

“We are now focused on completing the huge range of finishing works and bringing the project to a successful conclusion.”

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The FCBC consortium comprises Hochtief, Dragados, American Bridge and Morrison Construction (Galliford Try). It has a £790m construction contract.

The Queensferry Crossing is expected to open in May 2017. Before bad weather had an impact last year, the contractors had been working to a December 2016 completion date.

The 1.7 miles (2.7km) structure will be the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world and also by far the largest to feature cables that cross mid-span. This innovative design provides extra strength and stiffness, allowing the towers and the deck to be more slender and elegant, Transport Scotland says.

Scotland’s economy secretary Keith Brown said: “The public have been fascinated by the spectacular progress on the Queensferry Crossing. While there is a lot of work left before opening to traffic in May, completing the deck represents a true landmark moment that we’ve all been looking forward to. It’s the moment Fife and Edinburgh are connected by a third, stunning structure across the wide waters of the Forth. It’s a privilege to be here to see it.

“Every time I visit the bridge I’m struck by the expertise and endeavour of the workforce. Today is a hugely important milestone, one everyone involved should be very proud of. I’m sure I speak for many of us when I thank them all for their continued hard work and this fantastic progress.”

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