Queensferry Crossing bridge

On the east coast of Scotland, three giant towers are appearing out of the water. They are part of the striking new Queensferry Crossing bridge near Edinburgh, which will open in 2016.

Scotland's Queensferry Crossing will be the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world.
Scotland's Queensferry Crossing will be the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world.
  • Updated: 16 March, 2015

Why is it important?

When it's finished, Queensferry Crossing bridge will become a vital transport link for this part of Scotland.

But why do we need a road bridge right next door to other bridges near the Firth of Forth?

When the old Forth Road Bridge was built in the 1960s, the designers never thought it would be as popular as it is. Today, traffic levels on the bridge are really high and tens of thousands of people use it every day. This means that a brand new, stronger structure is needed to keep everyone safe.

Although the water is very wide where the bridge is being built, it will make journey times shorter. Crossing the river here cuts about 30 minutes off a journey from Edinburgh to Dundee or Aberdeen. If you travel both ways every weekday, that's 260 hours each year you don't have to spend in a car or on a bus.

How is it being built?

The Queensferry Crossing will be 1.7 miles (2.7km) long. And the road, called the 'deck' of the bridge, will be supported by cables from three huge towers, or 'pylons'.

Queensferry Crossing road bridge
An artist's rendition of how the bridge will look when it's finished

You can see in the picture that the cables overlap in some places. This gives extra strength and stiffness in the middle of the bridge, because there'll be more cables supporting these sections.

This clever design means that the bridge will be able to stay open even in high winds, which often batter Scotland's coast.

Anything else of interest?

If you were hoping to watch an awesome demolition job of the old Forth Road Bridge, you'll be disappointed.

Civil engineers have worked out a smart way to renovate the ageing structure so it can still carry public transport and cyclists. This has saved a bit of money too, well £1.7bn to be precise.

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