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10 Facts about the Forth Bridges

South Queensferry

It’s been long overdue but last month we finally seen the opening of the third Forth Bridge; The Queensferry Crossing.

With the two existing bridges already being an iconic image of Scotland, the Queensferry crossing is set to transform not only the image of the Firth of Forth but the way people travel between Edinburgh and Fife too.

We’ve been looking back on the history of the 3 iconic bridges and found some interesting fact worth sharing:

1. The first bridge to be build was the famous red Forth Rail Bridge. Opened in 1890 after taking 7 years to build.

2. The Forth Rail Bridge is an exceptional example of Victorian Engineering and was a pioneering build at its time, using more steel than had ever been used in a single structure before.

3. The Forth Rail Bridge is still fully operational to this day and carries over 200 trains across the Firth of Forth each day.

4. The Forth Road Bridge was opened in 1964 following cultural demand. Prior to this the only way to cross directly across the Firth of Forth in a car was via a Ferry service between North Queensferry and Queensferry.

5. When opened, the Forth Road Bridge was the first of its kind in the UK and the world’s longest suspension bridge outside the US.

6. It wasn’t predicted how much traffic would cross the Forth Road Bridge in the decades following it’s opening and this began to show in the wear and tear. This included a crack being found on bridge in December 2015, forcing it to be closed for a number of weeks in the run up to Christmas, to allow for repairs to be carried out.

7. With the condition of the Forth Road Bridge deteriorating, plans for a third bridge were put underway and the Queensferry Crossing opened in 2017.

8. The new Queensferry Crossing is the world’s longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge, coming in at 1.7 miles long.

9. Unfortunately there has been a number of deaths during the construction of each bridge. With 73 deaths occurring in the construction of the Forth Rail Bridge, 7 on the Forth Road Bridge and 1 on the Queensferry Crossing, its easy to see the improvements in construction and health and safety which have developed over the years.

10. With the Queensferry Crossing now operational, The Forth Road Bridge will continue to be opened but only to public transport, such as buses and taxis, as well as pedestrians and cyclists, reducing its daily load significantly.

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