Mind the gap…64 metres to the first join in Queensferry Crossing’s deck

Engineers have completed the hugely complex process of pushing the massive viaduct out across the Queensferry Crossing’s distinctive v-shaped piers on the north side of the Forth.

Timelapse and drone footage of the launch is available on the Queensferry Crossing youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZiCFK4klJc

Key facts about the north approach viaduct include:

  • The viaduct itself weighs over 5,600 tonnes
  • Adding the temporary equipment needed for the launch increases the total weight pushed to over 6,000 tonnes
  • The viaduct is over 220 metres long and has travelled over 230 metres
  • Around 48 miles of cables were used to complete the launch –- enough to stretch from Rosyth to Glasgow when laid end to end
  • Unlike the south viaduct which was constructed in sections, the north viaduct was fully assembled on site and pushed out over static temporary supports as a single operation
  • As well as being pushed out, the viaduct was rotated and pivoted upwards making sure that it rolled over the top of the piers
  • A distance of only 64 metres now lies between making the connection from the north viaduct to the north deck fan.

Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure Keith Brown visited the Forth Replacement Crossing today to view the latest progress and speak with some of those involved in the operation. He said:

“If any further evidence is required to demonstrate large scale, world class engineering, look no further than the latest progress on the Queensferry Crossing.

“Having been fortunate enough to see construction close up and to speak with some of those directly involved in the construction of this structure, I have a true sense of the scale of the work being achieved everyday on the project, it really is remarkable. Completing the north viaduct launch sees the project achieve another significant technical milestone.

“Pushing such a huge structure in such a controlled manner, working to a tolerance of a few millimetres, requires expert planning and execution. It is clear that highly skilled and experienced engineers are bringing their knowledge to the project, while others are taking the opportunity to gather their experience.

“This level of expertise is helping to ensure the project remains on schedule to have traffic on the bridge this December.”

Michael Martin, Project Director for the consortium building the new bridge, Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors, said:

“The launch of the North Approach Viaduct into its final position has been one of the most technically challenging operations of its type ever performed.

“A massive total of 6,300 tonnes of steel and concrete was launched out 230 metres, in itself a significant feat of engineering. But what makes this operation really special is the fact that we had to slide the trailing edge of the moving structure down two ramp walls in order to raise the front edge by 2 metres. This allowed us to pivot the entire structure over the top of one of the two support piers as it moved forwards, resulting in the viaduct structure being at the correct geometry to match the emerging deck coming from the North Tower.

“This operation was extremely technically challenging. It required the ingenuity of some of the best engineers in the world, to design and build the structure and devise the method of safely and successfully launching it out into position. This is the kind of work being delivered on a daily basis right across this amazing project.”


  • The FRC project remains on time and under budget
  • The project has a fixed budget range of £1.325 to £1.35 billion
  • The Queensferry Crossing is due to open to traffic in December this year
  • A video showing the timelapse and drone footage from the north approach viaduct launch is available from the Queensferry Crossing youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2GKRiYa1SylyQI9QJVXX8A
  • For recent images and information on the FRC project please visit: www.queensferrycrossing.co.uk


Mark Dunlop : 07620 595 449

Published 18 Mar 2016 Tags