A new video has been released showing the progress made on the Queensferry Crossing which is now 94 per cent complete and due to open within months.
Work on the bridge over the past year has been caught on film showing significant milestones in Scotland’s biggest transport project.
A total of 50 kilometres of stay cables were installed which would stretch all the way to St Andrews if they were laid end to end.
The bridge’s deck is almost complete with just two lifts to put in place early in 2017, paving the way for completion and the grand opening scheduled for May.
Economy Secretary Keith Brown he said: “The Queensferry Crossing is now nearing completion and is on schedule to open in May next year.
“On the bridge there is continuous deck from the north viaduct in Fife to just a few metres short of the south viaduct in the Lothians. “At this stage there are only two more deck segments to lift of the 122 total – with these due to be in place in early 2017.
“When work starts back at the beginning of January the initial focus will be on completing the final few concrete pours to complete the deck of the south viaduct.
“Then focus will shift onto a new phase of finishing works – water proofing, road surfacing and the final fit out of all the mechanical and electrical systems on what will be a truly state-of-the-art bridge.”
Building the bridge has been a painstaking and time-consuming process due to technical and more unpredictable challenges such as the Scottish weather.
Building the north viaduct, a 6000-ton and 221-metre structure, was done at a speed of six miles per hour and took four weeks to complete.
In 2016, 83 deck sections were lifted into place weighing over 60,000 tons, while three of the four deck closures were completed.
On the road network – 3.5km of road surfacing has been laid, 8km of drainage pipes, 11,500sqm of waterproofing spray applied, 14 overhead gantries erected and 44,000 trees have been planted so far.
Mr Brown added: “The challenge the project faces with the weather have been well documented but it is to the enormous credit of the skilled and dedicated team that the project remains on schedule to open within the original contractual timeframe and significantly under budget.
“And, of course, no one ever said building the tallest bridge in Britain in such a challenging environment was going to be easy.
“Looking ahead to when the bridge is open, road users can look forward to significant improvements to Scotland’s trunk road network.
“The project will bring a 14-mile motorway connection between the outskirts of Edinburgh and Dunfermline, with much improved junctions and smart technology to vary speed limits to ease periods of congestion.
“When the Queensferry Crossing opens the Forth Road Bridge will be retained as a dedicated public transport corridor which will improve bus journey times and also provide a much improved, largely traffic-free environment for cyclists and walkers across the Forth.”
More than 7000 school pupils and 8000 people from all over Scotland have viewed the project’s exhibition and visited the site during the course of this year.