Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Queensferry Crossing: Bridge now connected to Fife

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Media captionThe £1.35bn project is now due to be complete by May 2017

Engineers have joined the Queensferry Crossing's north deck and viaduct - meaning the bridge is now connected to Fife.

It is the first of four closures between the "deck fans", which are now nearing completion around each of the bridge's three towers.

The bridge section from Fife is now 600 metres long and weighs 30,000 tonnes.

It has 10,000 tonnes of steel and 20,000 tonnes of concrete and 46 stay-cables.

The £1.35bn project is now due to be complete by May 2017.

'Significant milestone'

Economy Secretary Keith Brown visited the site today and was among the first to walk from the land on to the bridge.

He said: "This is a historic and symbolic moment in the building of the Queensferry Crossing.

"We're all witnessing engineering on a truly epic scale on this project, with over 30,000 tonnes of concrete and steel used just to build this part of the bridge.

"Despite the massive size and weight of the bridge completing the closure between the viaduct and bridge deck is a delicate operation involving extremely precise tolerances for fit up.

"Overall, nearly 79% of the total bridge deck is now in place, the final section of deck is having its concrete deck cast in Rosyth today, meaning all the deck is ready to be lifted into place on the bridge."

Michael Martin, Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors project director said: "The first closure on any bridge project is always a significant milestone.

"On this fantastic project, this closure represents leading edge civil engineering.

"After installing the last road deck section and connecting it to the expanding North Tower road deck, we then had to close the remaining gap on the north - or landward - side.

"This was done by pulling the northern approach viaduct 700 millimetres southwards.

"This was a massive and, at the same time, very delicate operation. Massive because the viaduct is 222 metres long, weighs approximately 6,000 tonnes and had to be pulled up a gradient of about 3%.

"Delicate because the tolerances the team were working to were tiny - just a few millimetres either way. Happily, it all went very well."

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