Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Last section of Queensferry Crossing lifted into place

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Media captionThe final section of the Queensferry Crossing is lifted into place

The final section of the deck of the new Queensferry Crossing has been lifted into place.

It marks the completion of the £1.35bn bridge's 1.7-mile deck span between Edinburgh and Fife.

The remaining gap, between the south tower and the shore on the Edinburgh side, was the last of 122 segments to be placed in position.

Engineers said last week the timetable for having the bridge open at the end of May was "realistic".

But project leaders insisted there was a lot of work still to be done, with the weather capable of disrupting plans.

Image copyright PA
Image copyright PA
Image copyright PA

Michael Martin, project director of Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors, said it had been a "massive milestone" for the bridge.

"It's a landmark moment for us," he said.

"It's not the end of the bridge work, we still have a tremendous amount of work to do, but it's an opportunity to pause for a moment and reflect on a fantastic achievement."

David Climie, project director at Transport Scotland, said: "We have been building up to this for a long time because we started deck-lifting back in September 2015.

"This is the last piece of jigsaw of the main structure, so it's a really important day."

Image copyright PA
Image copyright PA

The new bridge is being fitted with 3.5m-high baffle barriers across its entire length to break up and deflect gusts of wind.

Bridge operators say the wind shields should "almost entirely eliminate the need for closures".

Once it is opened, the current Forth Road Bridge will be used for public transport, cycling and walking.

The new crossing will take all other traffic.

Queensferry Crossing - fact and figures

The structure is 207m above high tide (683ft), equivalent to about 48 double decker buses stacked on top of each other.

It is 50m (25%) higher than existing Forth Road Bridge

The steel required for the bridge deck weighs a total of 35,000 tonnes -equivalent to almost 200 Boeing 747s

The combined steel required for North and South viaducts weighs 7,000 tonnes - enough to make another 23 Kelpies.

The bridge has windshielding to almost entirely eliminate the need for closures during the frequent periods of high winds in the Forth estuary

Cables can be replaced with more ease than on the Forth Road Bridge - it can be done as part of normal maintenance works without closing the bridge.

The bridge, which is built on three giant steel cylinders, each the size of a six-storey block of flats, is close to completion after more than five years.

The road deck is continuous from the north viaduct in Fife to just a few metres from the south viaduct in South Queensferry.

Final work includes concrete pours to complete the deck of the south viaduct, more cable stays and road surfacing.

Image copyright PA
Image copyright PA

Once completed the bridge will be part of a continuous 14-mile motorway from the outskirts of Edinburgh to Dunfermline.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: "Big day for @NewForthBridge as the final deck section is lifted into place. The new bridge really is an amazing feat of engineering."

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