Do You Live Near a Notable Bridge? I Live Near the Forth Bridges.
I live in Edinburgh, Scotland and not ten miles from here you will find the Forth Bridges. At present there are two – the famous cantilever rail bridge and the road bridge. There are plans for a third bridge – another road bridge.
The Firth of Forth is a wide estuary running on an east-west axis. Prior to 1890 the only way to get from one side to the other quickly was by ferry – hence the names of the two towns - North and South Queensferry.
The Rail Bridge
The Rail Bridge is the most iconic of the Forth Bridges. It was opened in 1890 and celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1990 with a lavish celebration. It is a cantilever bridge which is over engineered as it has more supports than necessary to support it. It is a dark red and up until recently was continually painted to prevent corrosion – hence the phrase ‘it’s like painting the Forth Bridge’ when referring to something which goes on and on and on. But now a new layer has been applied which will render the bridge non-corrodible for 30 years, so a new phrase will have to be found!
Building the bridge took 7 years and 98 people lost their lives during construction. It is 1.6 miles in length and was opened in March 1890 by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) who drove in the final rivet (made of gold!).
The Road Bridge
This bridge is a single suspension bridge opened in 1964 by Queen Elizabeth of Scots. It carries vast amounts of traffic every day between Fife and Edinburgh. Initially it was a toll bridge but now the tolls have been abolished after much campaigning. At present there are corrosion problems with the suspension cables and various bolts – these concerns are being addressed but because of these problems and the volume of traffic a third bridge over the Forth has been proposed.
Proposed Third Bridge
A new road suspension bridge has been approved by the Scottish Government. It is hoped that the new, as yet unnamed bridge, will be opened to traffic in 2016/7.
Do you live near a notable or iconic bridge? If so, I would love to hear about it.