In numbers: vital statistics of the Queensferry Crossing
While the project has been delayed, and at times controversial, it is undeniable that the scale of the structure is truly impressive.
Standing 207 metres above high tide (683ft), the structure is equivalent to approximately 48 London buses stacked on top of each other and 50 metres (25 per cent) higher than the existing Forth Road Bridge.
During its construction, 150,000 tonnes of concrete have been poured – nearly the same amount used for the entire London Olympic Park and Athletes Village.
The steel required for the bridge deck weighed a total of 35,000 tonnes or the equivalent weight of nearly 200 Boeing 747s.
And the combined steel required for North and South viaducts weighed 7,000 tonnes, enough to make another 23 Kelpies.
In total, according to the website for the project, there has been 23,000 miles of cabling used – laid out, enough to very nearly stretch around the entire planet.
It is estimated the construction has involved approximately 10 million man hours.
Michael Martin, project director for the consortium building the Queensferry Crossing, Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors, said the Queensferry Crossing was “one of the world’s great bridges”.
Speaking as the opening date was confirmed, he said: “It’s the largest bridge of its type and its fast track design and construction has presented many challenges.
“The safety of our workforce, who have worked relentlessly through the hostile weather conditions in the Forth estuary to deliver the earliest completion of this project, has always been our number one priority and it will continue to be so as move towards the completion of the project.”
The Queensferry Crossing will open to traffic on August 30, and will then close to allow the public to take part in a ‘once in a lifetime’ chance to walk over the new bridge on 2 and 3 September.
There are still 50,000 spaces up for grabs through a ballot – www.queensferrycrossingexperience.com – closing on 5 July.
Once opened, all traffic will initially use the Queensferry Crossing while the Forth Road Bridge is prepared as a “public transport corridor” for buses and taxis. During that three to four week period, the speed limit on the new bridge would be reduced to 50mph. Following that, it will be raised to 70mph and the Queensferry Crossing will become a motorway.
Details of an opening ceremony have yet to be revealed.
Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, believes the new bridge will prove to be a major tourist draw.
Speaking earlier this month, he said: “The excitement really is building around the opening of this magnificent feat of engineering – the Queensferry Crossing.
“We are delighted that a date has now been announced. Scotland will become the world’s first destination to have three bridges spanning three centuries in one stunning location.
“The Forth Bridges are already icons of Scotland, recognised worldwide for their importance, and the addition of the Queensferry Crossing consolidates this global appeal.
“We very much look forward to welcoming the new bridge to our hearts as we have done with the two bridges before.
“The opening event is set to be a once-in-a-generation spectacular – good luck to all those who enter the ballot to walk the bridge!”