IT’S going up fast. These new pictures show the latest progress on the Queensferry Crossing as work proceeds on the £1.4 billion bridge.
When it is finished, the 1.7-mile structure will be the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world.
But bridge bosses are so concerned about motorists slowing down to admire the new crossing that they are cutting the speed limit on the neighbouring Forth Road Bridge from 50mph to 40mph from the spring.
Average speed cameras will be installed along three miles of the A90 and M90 until the completion of the new bridge.
David Climie, of the Forth Replacement Crossing team, said: “We decided that we would have it in operation right over the Forth Road Bridge as well because one thing we’ve specifically noted is that traffic is slowing down on the Forth Road Bridge looking at what we’re doing.
“There’s no doubt that there’s been a lot of distraction there so it makes sense to have the 40mph average speed limit to control the traffic flow right through that entire area.
“The difference between the three miles at 50mph and 40mph is less than one minute in travel time, so we think the impact is going to be very insignificant.”
Mr Climie told the Scottish Parliament’s infrastructure and investment committee yesterday that the project remains on schedule and within the budget of £1.35bn to £1.4bn.
He added: “There’s still a possibility – and I couldn’t put it any stronger than that – that we may be able to get some further savings yet.”
Mr Climie said the crossing would be fully open to traffic at the end of 2016.
Asked if the bridge might be completed ahead of schedule, he said: “I would not claim that we can do better then we’re currently predicting. There’s very limited scope really at this point, but it’s something we continue to monitor very closely.”
Edinburgh Southern SNP MSP Jim Eadie, committee convener, said: “That this vital project is being delivered on team and on budget is very welcome news for the country as a whole.”