Forth Bridges Collection
Welcome to the Forth Bridges Collection. All three of these famous bridges make the Edinburgh to Fife crossing over the Firth of Forth possible for daily commuters. The Forth Bridges Collection are three iconic bridges, each with a very different story. Collectively, the three bridges span three centuries. View the #ForthBridgesCollection on Twitter.
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Opened in 1890, the Forth Bridge is recognised the world over. It is believed the original ferry crossing started as far back as the 12th century. As time passed, the route between South & North Queensferry was becoming one of the busiest in the country. For many years after the Forth Bridge opened, the ferries continued to operate. The rail network now has over 200 trains using the Forth Bridge every day, carrying around 3 million passengers each year.
Thankfully it survived planned bombing raids during WWII. This was due to barrage balloons, two spitfire squadrons based nearby and strategic gun placements. Their main target was ships in the estuary and nearby Rosyth Naval Base.
Keeping this amazing structure pristine was a major job. So much so, there was even a famous saying linked to it for never ending tasks … “Like painting the Forth Bridge”. Why? Because it used to be a case of “by the time they got to the other side, it was time to start all over again”. Now with new type of paint, it only requires painting every 20 years. In July 2015, UNESCO inscribed the Forth Bridge as the sixth World Heritage site in Scotland.
2FORTH ROAD BRIDGE
The Forth Road Bridge opened to road traffic on 4 September 1964 and was firmly on the global stage of bridges. Additionally, the Forth Road Bridge has walk and cycle paths on either side. Something that is not available on the new Queensferry Crossing. At that time, it was the fourth longest in the world and the longest outside the United States. It was known as a long span suspension bridge and stretches for one and half miles across the Firth of Forth.
Being designed in the 1950’s when traffic was much less, it started to became slightly vulnerable due to the amount of traffic 50-60 years on. It is said that the Forth Bridge in its latter years as a fully operational road bridge would carry 65,000 vehicles per day. The bridge only had two carriageways in each direction. Repairs become ever more challenging with lane closures and traffic having to be diverted around via Kincardine Bridge to the west.
Now there are three spanning the Firth of Forth. The Queensferry Crossing opened on the 30th of August 2017 and we even had the Red Arrows fly over. It also has its own claim to fame. Queensferry Crossing is the world’s longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge and the largest to feature cables which cross mid-span. In addition, it has the highest bridge towers in the UK.
One of the most amazing statistic is regarding the cabling. 23,000 miles of it. So if you were to lay out all the wire used to support the bridge deck end-to-end, it would very nearly stretch around the entire planet Earth. Another important addition on the Queensferry Bridge is the deflectors that run the length of the bridge. Wind was a big issue on the Forth Road Bridge as was often closed to high sided vehicles during blustery conditions.