A big leap forward

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construction of the new Forth Crossing is beginning to take shape in and around Queensferry.

Three steel caissons, which will house the main towers supporting the new bridge, are now in position to the west of the Forth Road Bridge.

The installation of these caissons is seen as a mileston” in the Forth Crossing project and the first visible sign there is a bridge in progress.

David Climie, Forth Replacement Crossing project director for Transport Scotland, said: “The process to install the steel caissons, which will form the foundations for the new bridge is proceeding to plan with all three now in place on the sea bed at the bottom of the Forth.

“Further excavation of seabed material is now underway that will eventually see the base of each caisson sunk down to the bedrock before being filled with the concrete that the bridge’s towers will be built upon. These operations are some of the most complex works in the entire FRC construction, and are likely to be ongoing for most of this year.”

Christian Niemietz, the Forth Crossing bridge costractor’s senior engineer added: “The positioning of all three caissons is a significant milestone for the project and provides real evidence of the new bridge taking shape.”

While daily works go on in the Forth, on dry land major works are also being undertaken around Queensferry.

In fields at Echline, next to the A904, tons of soil are being removed to pave the way for the proposed motorway route which will link the new bridge to the M9 Spur at Scotstoun. Also south of the town, noise bunding construction, - mounds of earth - is set to get underway close to the Dundas Home Farm area.

At Scotstoun in recent weeks, work has commenced to create on/off ramps for public transport from the B800 to the A90 in preparation for when the new crossing opens.

Work is also underway in fields close to Springfield as this area is where the new bridge will launch out into the Forth.

And in neighbouring Kirkliston, works at Junction 1A, which will link traffic from the M9 Spur to the M9 westbound, are also well underway.

The Forth Crossing project is now almost 18 months into its six year programme and, as expected, construction work in and around Queensferry is escalating.

While it is inevitable noise and vibration will begin to impact on households in the months ahead, Transport Scotland said that, whilst it can be “concerning” for residents, the level of vibration is very low and consequently will not materially affect the structure and fabric of 
adjacent buildings.

Transport Scotland proposes to stage a public meeting in Queensferry within the coming months regarding the new Queensferry junction but no date has yet been set.

*The west walkway on the Forth Road Bridge is now open on Saturdays to allow pedestrians the opportunity to see the bridge works on the Forth close up.