Queensferry based firms will take the lead in a £15 million contract to create the Forth Bridge visitor centres in North and South Queensferry.
Network Rail has appointed Arup, which has an office at Scotstoun, to develop detailed designs for the North Queensferry visitor centre and lift and the reception area and bridge walk on the south side.
Arup is expected to produce build-ready designs by mid-2015, enabling them to be submitted to the local authorities for planning consideration.
Arup will be supported by two local firms, WT Architecture, which developed the early design concepts, and the Paul Hogarth Company, a landscape architect, which will help develop the hard and soft landscaping plans for both locations.
The design brief for the South Queensferry visitor reception centre and walkway could be open as soon as 2016.
The walkway will travel along the south approach viaduct underneath the railtrack, followed by a climb to the top of the southern, Queensferry, tower using a walkway within the top cantilever.
The North Queensferry visitor centre, viewing platform and lift could be operational by the end of 2017.
Will Tunnell, who created the initial designs for Network Rail, said: ‘‘We are delighted to have secured this commission. We will be developing the initial concept in more detail over the coming months and we expect the main ideas developed will remain at the heart of the designs.
‘‘Arup is leading the design team and is the engineer for the project which obviously demands superlative engineering skills for the new infra-structure being proposed.’’
Network Rail route managing director David Dickson: “This demonstrates our commitment to further developing our visitor proposals during the Forth Bridge’s 125th anniversary year.’’
To see a vodeo of the latest proposals click this link, http://vimeo.com/72897807