A High Ranking Bridge

Soldiers helping out at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow recently took time out from their duties to visit the construction of the new Queensferry Crossing across the Forth.

The soldiers from 154 (Scottish) Regiment RLC – formerly known as the Scottish Transport Regiment – have been among more than 2,000 military personnel involved in provision of security and logistic support for the Games.

They were given a talk and shown around the exhibition at the project’s dedicated Contact and Education Centre in South Queensferry and then given special guided access to the west walkway of the Forth Road Bridge from where the three spectacular towers of the new crossing can be easily viewed.

The regiment has four Army Reserve Centres based in Glasgow, Irvine, and Edinburgh and, not far from the bridge construction, in Dunfermline.

Warrant Officer Eddie Duff said:

“The Armed Forces have been working long hours before and during the Games and what free time we’ve had has normally been used for rest. However, these organised trips can also be a welcome change of scene and a good chance to see the varied attractions in Scotland – especially for personnel from elsewhere in Britain. As well as visiting the Queensferry Crossing, we’ve also visited Edinburgh and Stirling castles and Heart of Midlothian Football Club.

“The Queensferry Crossing lecture prior to the Guided Tour was very informative and detailed and made for an interesting, fact-filled day. The scale of the construction operations is very impressive and we all thoroughly enjoyed the visit.

“The visit out on to the Forth Road Bridge was a real bonus for me having never visited the bridge before. I’ve lived in Rosyth for 25 years and used the bridge frequently, by car and on various road runs across the bridge, including The Two Bridges Road Race and a 24 hr sponsored charity run organised by the regiment back in 1993.”

Keith Brown, Minister for Transport and Veterans, said:

“The men and women of the Armed Forces made a huge contribution to Glasgow 2014 being such a success so I was very pleased we were able to give a little something back by offering a special visit to the Queensferry Crossing site for the soldiers not on duty. This is the largest transport project in Scotland for a generation and as anyone who travels over the Forth Road Bridge will be able to tell you, the works are getting ever more spectacular as the towers continue to rise and the south viaduct continues to launch out over the Forth."

Around 900 personnel have been provided to Glasgow 2014 by the Army with 300 each from the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. A further 900 were held in reserve if required.

Military personnel provided specialist capabilities such as explosive ordnance disposal support and air security measures similar to those seen during the London Olympics in 2012. Their ceremonial roles included the provision of 72 flag bearers for medal ceremonies

Meanwhile, the Queensferry Crossing is progressing on schedule and under budget to open by December 2016. The three main towers have reached deck level and the South Approach Viaduct has been launched more than half it’s final length.

By the end of this year, assembly equipment will be moved over from the South Approach Viaduct area to the north to start assembly of the shorter North Approach viaduct steelwork. This is expected to be launched into position later in 2015.

Work on the road network connections to the south and north continue to progress well with the new Queensferry gyratory due to open shortly to realign the A904 and work in the Ferrytoll area for the new M90.

Notes to editors

1. The FRC is Scotland’s biggest transport infrastructure project in a generation
2. The Queensferry Crossing is being built on time and under budget
3. The current budget range for the project is £1.4 to £1.45 billion, down from £1.45 billion to £1.60 billion in 2011
4. The British Chambers of Commerce estimated the additional benefits through supply chain and sub-contract opportunities for Scottish businesses would be worth around £6 billion to the Scottish economy. (BCC press release, February 2010)
5. Pictures and timelapse video of the construction process is available at: www.queensferrycrossing.co.uk
6. Pictures of the soldiers visit are available to download at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/38vsc0s3nen9e7b/AACi3VPFQAN13RjQcpIbY-8Ka

Contact Transport Scotland Press Office: 0141 272 7195

Published 12 Aug 2014