Forth Replacement Crossing – A bridge to fill the gap of employment, economy and distance

According to Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, the mammoth project to build a bridge over the Firth of Forth had reached one of its landmark moments way back in 2012. The Forth Replacement Crossing is going to be the biggest and the most phenomenal transport infrastructure project that has ever happened in Scotland in the current generation. The project started off in 2011 and is heading towards its completion in 2016. The initial stage in 2011 was considered as the most crucial stage of the construction project by the engineers as there were some costly mistakes which could have caused some severe and far-reaching consequences.

The Lighthouse situated on the Beamer Rock was moved off in 2011 so that the huge rock could be utilized as the foundation for one of the towers of the bridge. Ms Sturgeon who visited the site said that she was highly privileged to be a witness of the big-league transport infrastructure project that was taking place in Scotland and she also added that this was going to be an interesting ‘landmark’ moment for the entire Scottish generation. As there will be contractor serviced accommodation available, also there are more than 1200 people working on the site excluding the more than 300 people who are already working in the supply chain and subcontracting of this project.

The Queensferry Crossing – A feather on the cap of the Transport industry

The transport industry of Scotland is delivering the country with a new bridge with the name of Queensferry Crossing which will upgrade the road network situated on both sides of the Firth of Forth. Transport Scotland is the institution which is working on the FCBC (Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors) consortium project. As mentioned above, the FRC project is offering enough job and supply order opportunities for majority of the Scottish companies. Their project will ensure a successful future of one of the most vital elements of the transport network of Scotland.

More on the FRC project

It is sad enough to note that in spite of momentous investment and lifetime maintenance, the Forth Road Bridge is still showing signs of depreciation and deterioration and is not proving to be appropriate for long-term development over the Firth of Forth. The FRC project will protect and enhance the cross-Forth connection. The project uses 150,000 of concrete which is equal to the amount which was used in London Olympic Park and Athlete’s Village and it also uses 30,000 tonnes of steel. The construction will require 10 million man hours to complete.

Construction of this project began in 2011 autumn and is expected to complete in 2016. The 3 main contracts which comprise the FRC project were given a reward in summer and spring of 2011, with the major successful bids coming within the project. Due to the costs being lower than what was predicted, it translated to big savings. The total cost of delivering the entire project is 1.325 billion pounds to 1.35 billion pounds, which saw a considerable reduction from the last estimate of 1.7 billion pounds to 2.5 billion pounds.

Updates for the road users

The federal transport agency offers daily updates for the road users on the current traffic management that is needed due to the constant construction of Queensferry Crossing and the roads that connect through that place. FCBC, the contractor, along with Transport Scotland work diligently to make sure that there’s minimum disruption and problem for the common public. Traffic management is coordinated through a Traffic Management Working Group which is congregated regularly.

Positioning webcams for improved security

The contractors of Transport Scotland, along with their help have placed 7 cameras through the Forth Estuary to offer high quality live footage of the phase of construction of the Forth Replacement Crossing project. Every single camera has the facility of offering various views of the bridge construction.

FRC FAQs – Clearing all your doubts

  • What is the reason behind the scheme being taken forward?

Transport Scotland has given this answer in the Policy memorandum of the Forth Crossing Bill, passed in 2009. Forth Road Bridge went through myriad operational issues and a considerably large number of maintenance liabilities. Due to these, they couldn’t guarantee offering best levels of service for the economic and social traffic on this vital road across the Forth.

  • Will the project be able to meet increased demands of cars in the future?

This project reflects the commitment of the Scottish government that the FRC project will replace the road provision for general traffic rather than increasing it. Future growth in travel after the opening of the FRC will definitely be satiated by the rise in public transport. Forth Road Bridge will take all steps required and will offer added infrastructure for all kind of vehicles travelling on it.

  • Is the project costlier as against the other similar schemes?

Every bridge that has been built has a number of challenges like depth of crossing, length of crossing and all such circumstances make it tough to compare bridges in accordance to their costs involved. With this effort, it has been noted that the cost involved in building Forth Replacement Crossing is similar to the other bridges like the Mersey Crossing, Rion Antirion and Second Severn crossing. Hence, in a nutshell, the cost of the Queensferry is similar to many other bridges.

  • Is the bridge going to close down during high winds?

There will be wind shielding that will be used on the bridge to make crossing less vulnerable during instances of high winds. If you have experienced other crossings like the Second Severn Crossing, it shows that the wind barriers offer a better degree of credibility and people can depend on them highly during a closure.

Hence, as you can see that this serviced accommodation for Scotland, the Queensferry Bridge is going to bridge the gap between distances, economy and the labour market. Overall, it is undoubtedly helping the entire nation and also allowing improved and enhanced road communication.

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