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Queensferry Crossing: Figures behind major feat of engineering

New bridge is the biggest infrastructure project in Scotland for a generation.

Bridge: At 1.7 miles it is the length of 23 football pitches. <strong>SWNS</strong>
Bridge: At 1.7 miles it is the length of 23 football pitches. SWNS

In the works for a decade and under construction since 2011, the Queensferry Crossing is finally open to the public.

It is the biggest infrastructure project in Scotland for a generation, with thousands of workers collectively spending millions of hours in building the bridge.

The crossing opened to traffic in the early hours of Wednesday and will replace the old Forth Road Bridge.

Here, we take you behind the numbers of a record-breaking feat of engineering.

The journey over the crossing is 1.7 miles (2.7km) including the approach viaducts, making it the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world – and around the length of 23 football pitches.

It took 15 days of continuously pouring concrete to form the foundations of the South Tower, which was a world record for the largest continuous underwater pour, filling it with 16,869 cubic metres of concrete.

Design: Cable-stayed bridge selected out of dozens of possibilities. PA

A total of 65 possible options were considered before the final three-tower design of the Queensferry Crossing was chosen.

Bridge deck: Each section around four times heavier than a blue whale. CC

A total of 122 deck sections make up the bridge deck, with each one potentially weighing up to 750 tonnes, more than four times the weight of a blue whale.

Forth Road Bridge: Old crossing is surpassed in height by successor. Robert Gillespie

The bridge stands 683ft above high tide – the equivalent of 48 London buses stacked on top of each other – and 164ft (25%) higher than the old Forth Road Bridge.

Kelpies: Falkirk landmark could be replicated 23 times over. QMU

Constructing the north and south viaducts needed roughly 7000 tonnes of steel, which is enough to make 23 Kelpies.

Cabling: Amount used could go around the moon three times over. Markovs Family

There has been 23,000 miles (37,000km) of cabling used in the bridge’s construction – enough to stretch around the moon more than three times over and almost enough to stretch around Earth.

Boeing 747: Jumbo jets weigh around 300 tonnes each.

The bridge deck required 35,000 tonnes of steel, which is the equivalent weight of roughly 115 Boeing 747s.

Olympic Park: New bridge used almost same amount of concrete. PA

In total the project required 150,000 tonnes of concrete – almost the same amount used for the entire London Olympic Park and Athletes Village.

Empire State Building: Required seven million man hours to finish. CC

Construction of the bridge took approximately ten million working hours to complete, which is three million more than was needed to build the Empire State Building.

£1.35bn: Bridge’s cost came in under budget.

The crossing has cost approximately £1.35bn, coming in significantly under budget with its price tag comparing favourably with other structures in the UK like the Mersey Crossing (£1.86bn).


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