THE opening, in May 2017, of the Forth Replacement Crossing – to be known as the Queensferry Crossing – was anticipated by Alastair Templeton, Quality Manager for the project, when he talked to the Bridge of Allan and Dunblane Rotary Club on Thursday.
He emphasized the importance of this billion-pound project as a means of ensuring a vital communication link across the Forth.
The project is on time and will be finished significantly below cost, with an estimated saving of in excess of £100million pounds, money which will be returned to government.
The project has been the largest in Scotland for a generation, involving some 1,300 workers, of which 86 percent are from Scotland. Similarly, almost fifty per cent of the contractors involved are Scottish.
Preparatory work on the bridge began in September 2011, with contracts for it and the associated road infrastructure being given to several major consortia.
The scale of the project is staggering, with the bridge and its immediate approaches extending over 2.7 kilometres (1.7 miles), making it the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world.
The three towers supporting the cables reach some 210 metres above the Forth. The important road works needed to link the bridge have now been completed, with final detailing now in process.
Alastair showed a video, which provided dramatic pictures of the bridge under construction, and some remarkable drone footage showing the bridge from a variety of angles.
The video also illustrated the complex technique for fitting in place the 122 sections that make up the bridge’s decking. Here tolerances measured in millimetres are required to ensure a perfect fit.
The fitting of the final section in February 2016 involved a process of giant cranes withdrawing the existing decking by 60 centimetres to allow this section to be put in place.
Further aerial footage also showed the extent of the roadworks needed to link the existing roadwork network.
Following the video, Alastair talked about associated work, including barriers that will reduce the affect of wind by some 50 per cent, an important consideration given the recent incident on the Forth Bridge.
Landscaping, including the planting of some 44,000 trees will provide a more attractive environment.
Asked about the success in bring the project in on time and below budget, Alastair emphasized the effectiveness of the project management, the strict specification of the materials, and the quality control.
Together with the skill of those working on the bridge, these aspects had ensured an excellent outcome. Alastair emphasized: “Tthis is a very successful project of which Scotland can be justifiably proud”.
Thanking Alastair for a very interesting and illuminating talk, John Anderson, Speaker’s Host, said that he was sure that everyone was looking forward to using the new bridge. Members joined him in his appreciation of Alastair’s contribution.
Visitors are always very welcome to meetings. Anyone interested in attending should contact the club secretary, Iain Fraser at email@example.com or on 01786 822751.
More information can be found on the club website: www.dunblanerotary.org.uk or the Facebook site: www.facebook.com/dunblanerotary