IT’S the biggest construction project in Scotland and will eventually provide a third bridge over the Forth narrows between North and South Queensferry.
Work on the Queensferry Crossing began in 2011 and is due to be completed next year. Its three towers, each standing at 207m tall, will become a landmark for future generations of Scots, as familiar as the two older bridges that stand alongside.
The latest Forth bridge was signed off by the Scottish Government in 2007 following years of speculation on whether another crossing was required.
A cable-stayed design was chosen, with an overall length of 1.7 miles. Around 2.5 miles of new approach links will be built, with a major new junction constructed at Ferrytoll, near Inverkeithing, allowing access to both the new bridge and the older crossing, which will be retained for public transport.
Unlike the present Forth Road Bridge, the Queensferry Crossing will be designed as motorway standard with hard shoulders running alongside two lanes of traffic travelling north and south.
Pedestrians and cyclists will thus not be allowed on the new bridge, but will still be able to cross the Forth via the suspension bridge, which opened in 1964.
The name of the new bridge was revealed in 2013 following a consultation in which members of the public were invited to submit suggestions.
Queensferry refers to the ferry service that linked the settlements of North and South Queensferry for more than 800 years.
The first regular sailings are said to have been established by St Margaret of Scotland, wife of King Malcolm III, in the late 11th century for the benefit of pilgrims travelling to St Andrews.
The ferry continued after the opening of the first Forth Bridge, which carries the east coast mainline, in 1890 and soon found a new role transporting cars.
It finally ceased in 1964 upon the opening of Forth Road Bridge.